Diagnosis and treatment of hip issues

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Treatment for your hip injury or condition begins with an accurate diagnosis. Your specialist may use several medical imaging technologies and in-office exams to determine the exact location and cause of your hip pain, instability or movement issues.

Medical imaging procedures that may be used to evaluate and diagnose your hip condition include: 

  • X-rays.
  • MRI.
  • CT scans.
  • Ultrasound.

Nonsurgical treatment of hip issues

Orthopedic surgeons at HonorHealth take a conservative approach to treating hip injuries and conditions. They begin by exploring non-surgical therapies and techniques that may help minimize pain, increase stability and restore function.

Your doctor may try non-surgical treatments and therapies such as:

  • Rest.
  • Heat or ice therapy.
  • Lifestyle or activity modification.
  • Use of canes or walkers.
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Prescription medications.
  • Steroid injections.
  • Physical therapy.

Although prescription narcotic medications are not appropriate for the treatment of arthritis pain, if you rely on these medications to help control your hip pain, it might be time to discuss surgical treatment options. Your doctor will work with you to assess the risks and benefits of surgery and will often require decreasing the dosage of these medicines before surgery in order to adequately control your pain after surgery. Daily use of narcotic medications often comes with side effects and the risk of addiction, and makes it much more difficult to control your pain after surgery

Surgical treatment of hip issues

If nonsurgical options aren't effective in relieving your hip pain or other symptoms, or if your condition has progressed to a point where it's negatively impacting your quality of life, hip surgery may be needed.

HonorHealth orthopedic surgeons use the latest surgical robotics and advanced techniques to deliver the least invasive and most precise surgical treatments possible. These technologies can help surgeons better align prosthetic implants, resulting in greater surgical accuracy and improved outcomes.

The goal is to alleviate your pain and get you moving again. At HonorHealth, orthopedic surgeons perform various types of hip surgery, including:

  • Hip arthroscopy to diagnose and sometimes treat hip injuries and conditions affecting the soft tissues that surround, protect and allow your hip to function properly.
  • Partial hip replacement surgery to replace a fractured femoral head (the ball-like top of the thighbone). This procedure only replaces the part of the hip joint that was damaged, making it a partial hip replacement.
  • Total hip replacement surgery to treat the degenerative effects of arthritis or severe injury by replacing the worn out/damaged cartilage and bone in the hip joint with metal, plastic and/or ceramic components.
  • Revision hip replacement surgery to replace failed components from a previous hip replacement surgery.

After hip surgery

Today's surgical advances mean shorter post-surgical hospital stays. In most cases, you'll be able to go home within 24-48 hours of surgery. Before you're discharged from the hospital, your care team will ensure that you're able to:

  • Use the bathroom without assistance.
  • Walk with an assistive device on level surfaces.
  • Climb up and down two or three steps.
  • Perform exercises that your doctor wants you to do at home.

Your recovery plan probably also will include comprehensive outpatient physical therapy at an HonorHealth facility. Therapy will help you regain strength and improve movement and function, helping you get back to doing the activities you love.

Throughout your treatment, your HonorHealth orthopedic surgeon will work with your primary care physician to make sure you receive the best care and treatment. Your surgeon also may collaborate with a physical therapist, anesthesiologist, hospitalist, orthopedic nurses and others in the hospital to provide the treatment you need.