Problems with Your Hips

istock 1061845144 1Because the hips feature large bones, many people don’t think of them when it comes to orthopedics. The knees, shoulders, and even the ankles can seem more destined for overuse and damage. Ah, but your hips will let you know when they’re not happy.

Don’t let our name, Coastal Spine, fool you. Kevin O’Donnell, our orthopedic surgeon on our Coastal Spine staff, can figure out what’s happening and perform whatever is necessary to get you back to doing the things you love…but doing them without hip pain. 

What makes up the hips? 

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint that joins the ball of the thigh bone (femur) to the socket of your pelvis. Inside the hip joint is a cartilage lining that cushions impacts between the femur and the hip socket. But those impacts can be pretty intense in the hips, and they can be very repetitive. That’s why dancers, gymnasts, and other athletes that participate in sports with impact often have damage to their hip cartilage, not to mention strains, bursitis, and the effects of osteoarthritis. 

Common hip conditions 

These are some common hip problems that Dr. O’Donnell sees: 

  •     Bursitis of the hip — Bursitis is the painful swelling of the bursae, the fluid-filled sacs that cushion areas where tendons and muscles slide across bone. When a patient has hip bursitis, the bursa at the top of the femur is affected. Because it is involved in so many movements, when this bursa is inflamed it can be very painful.
  •     Arthritis in the hip — Osteoarthritis in the hip is gradual loss of cartilage due to daily wear and tear. As the cartilage wears down, or tears, it leads to chronic inflammation that can make it difficult to sleep, let alone perform certain normal activities. Usually, arthritis in the hip is in the form of osteoarthritis, but it can also develop after a traumatic injury.
  •     Osteoporosis in the hip — When a person develops osteoporosis, their bone density drops. This leads to the bones weakening and breaking much more easily than is normal. A precursor of osteoporosis is known as osteopenia.
  •     Avascular necrosis of the hip — If you’re old enough to know about Bo Jackson (if not, watch the ESPN 30-for-30 show or check out highlights on YouTube!), this is the injury that sent him into retirement. A seemingly simple tackle led to dislocation of his hip. This led to avascular necrosis, where the bone tissue begins to die because it isn’t receiving enough blood. This eventually led Mr. Jackson to full hip replacement.

Having pain in your hips? At Coastal Spine we can get to the bottom of what’s going on and get you on track to ease the pain. Call us at (856) 222-4444 to make an appointment with Dr. O’Donnell.  

Posted in: Orthopedic Care

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