Hip pain can be described as groin pain, or a deep pain around the hip. It can occur from injury to the hip due to either abnormalities in the joint, trauma to the hip region, repetitive movements or a congenital condition that causes more wear and tear on the joint than normal. It can be most painful after particular sporting activities, sitting for long periods of time, getting in or out of a car or getting up off a deep couch.
If you find yourself experiencing hip pain, consult a physician. An examination will help to determine what’s causing your discomfort, since hip pain can originate from the hip, spine, pelvis or leg. Once the cause of the pain is identified a treatment plan can be initiated.
Conservative (non-surgical) treatment plans should always be considered first. Hip pain can be alleviated with rest, activity modifications, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medicine.
If after a period of time you aren’t experiencing any relief then the next step would be an injection into the hip with either a steroid or analgesic. This should provide pain relief. If it doesn’t, then the injection can help identify if the pain is actually originating in the hip or if it could be coming from another area.
If the injection does not provide long term relief, and the hip is identified as the source of the pain, then you and your physician would consider surgical options.
The surgical options are Hip Preservation Surgery or Hip Replacement Surgery.
Hip Preservation Surgery is a surgery that is meant to repair abnormal or injured hip joints while preserving the original hip joint and hip function.
Total Hip Replacement Surgery is when the surgeon removes the entire hip joint and replaces it with a new hip joint.
The conditions that can be treated with Hip Preservation Surgery are Hip Impingement, Labral Tears and Cartilage Injuries.
Hip Impingement, also referred to as Femoro-Acetabular Impingement (FAI), occurs when there is abnormal contact of the hip bones which often leads to cartilage injury and pain.
The labrum is a piece of cartilage that runs along the hip socket. If provides stability to the hip joint and can become torn due to injury or “wear and tear”. Most patients describe labral tears as deep and sharp groin pain. It is often confused with a groin pull.
Labral tears can be asymptomatic and not in need of specific treatment. Labral tears that are symptomatic can be treated with physical therapy to help increase range of motion and muscle strengthening, and anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce inflammation and pain. If those options don’t alleviate the pain, then surgery can be performed to clean out, remove or repair the injured area of the labrum.
Physical Therapy can offer activity modifications, some pain control, and muscle strengthening but it will not heal the labral tear. However, in some cases if all of the symptoms are controlled, then surgery can be avoided.
Common activities that can cause problems in the hip are repeated hip flexion activities such as running, squatting, jumping and certain sports such as hockey, volleyball, dancing, football, wrestling, martial arts and skiing.