You may be an active athlete that prides themselves on their daily workouts, but could your intense workouts be the culprit of your hip pain? Through years of deterioration, your hip may start to give you trouble when you walk, run, or even – in severe cases – during any movement at all. That doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is broken or torn, but that your cartilage could be breaking down and causing significant pain for your joint.
The condition known as hip impingement, medically known as femoroacetabular impingement, can affect your quality of life and your mobility over time. You can consult with your orthopedic doctor to decide whether it’s the right time for surgery. When you experience hip impingement, the deterioration of the cartilage can cause pain with every movement. Your cartilage – that acts as a sort of cushion in between your hip joint’s bones – becomes less effective at doing its job. Due to this deterioration, joint’s bones can rub together increasing pain, inflammation, and in some cases, bone spurs.
Those who experience hip impingement report pain in their hip that can radiate through the groin area. Some even say that after prolonged sitting or standing, movement can start to feel stiff and painful. You may even feel a popping or clicking within your joint (because of the loose cartilage) with pain even affecting your buttocks and outer thigh.
Before jumping into the decision to go under the knife, however, your orthopedic doctor will always want to train alternatives to surgery first. If NSAIDS and other pain management shots or medicine are not helping your pain, your doctor might suggest physical therapy. Be patient – while the pain may be affecting your quality of life, your doctor should want to try conservative methods because they carry less risk and recovery time than surgery.
If you do require surgery, your doctor will decide whether the condition of your hip is optimal to perform arthroscopic surgery or whether the damage is great enough to warrant open surgery. While both procedures can provide positive results, open surgery does carry a significant risk and affects a lot more connective tissue. In severe cases, your orthopedic doctor might even call for a full hip replacement.
After your procedure, you will need to continue on crutches without bearing weight for around six weeks. Around that time, your doctor will ideally clear you for physical therapy, as there needs to be time for the swelling to go down. You won’t be completely healed for up to six months but it really depends on your body, your specific case and your ability to follow doctor’s orders.
If you are experiencing pain in your hip joint and suspect you may be suffering from hip impingement or another orthopedic condition, talk to the experts at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland. Call us at (410) 644-1880 for your evaluation today.