Relieve Hip Pain

On October 9, BCH Orthopedic Services - except for rehabilitation - were totally relocated to Foothills Hospital, 4747 Arapahoe Avenue, in Boulder.  There were no changes in the range of services available, only the location. This was part of a consolidation of services at Foothills Hospital.  Click here for more information on this important change in local health care.

Chronic pain in your hip joint can take the joy out of life. When the pain begins to reduce mobility, it limits your activities and reduces quality of life. If left untreated, your hip joint could get so bad that you can’t even walk.

Sacrificing your lifestyle, whether it’s biking, running, traveling or playing with your grandchildren, is not the only option. There are many treatments that can reduce hip pain and help you enjoy your life once again. We know that trying to understand the multitude of treatment options can be overwhelming, because every person is unique and one treatment doesn’t fit all. We can help you determine which treatment is the best for you.

BCH partners with a large group of orthopedists to supply the community with a wide range of medical expertise and the latest medical technology so you get the best possible care. Our orthopedists offer a comprehensive range of treatments, from anti-inflammation medicines to total hip joint replacement, and many other treatment options in between. When a problem is diagnosed early, more treatment options are available, so don’t delay getting a medical opinion. Early detection will give you more choices and can help prevent deterioration of your hip joint. Visit our orthopedist list to schedule a consultation with a hip specialist.

We’ll start by reviewing the causes of hip pain and then we’ll tell you about treatment options and where you can go for more information. If you already know what’s causing your pain, view our Non- Surgical Pain Relief or Surgical Pain Relief sections to learn about medical treatments.

Causes of Hip Joint Damage and Pain

Hip OsteoarthritisHip Osteoarthritis

This most common cause of joint damage, sometimes called degenerative joint disease, occurs when cartilage in the joint wears down. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain during or after movement.
  • Tenderness when you apply light pressure to your hip.
  • Stiffness when you wake in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
  • Loss of flexibility because you can’t move your joint through its full range of motion.
  • Bone spurs that feel like hard lumps and usually form around the joint.

No cure exists, but non-surgical treatments can relieve pain and help you remain active. Actively managing your osteoarthritis can help you control its symptoms. If the joint degenerates to the point that non-surgical treatments no longer help relieve pain, you should consider hip replacement surgery.

Hip Arthritis

Arthritis is caused by inflammation of a joint.  Arthritis in your hip joint causes pain, stiffness and swelling. Osteoarthritis affects bone cartilage and rheumatoid arthritis affects the tissues in the lining around joints. Medication is commonly used to reduce the symptoms caused by both conditions. People with osteoarthritis can sometimes benefit from physical therapy.

Osteonecrosis

Also called avascular necrosis, osteonecrosis causes bone death due to insufficient blood supply. Symptoms include:

  • Aching pain in the groin.
  • Pain when you move your hip.
  • Limping or difficulty walking.

In the early stages of this disease, crutches and anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful, but the disease tends to progress quickly and once it progresses, hip resurfacing and total hip replacement surgeries are the best treatment options.

Hip Fracture

Gradual loss of density caused by aging weakens bones makes you more susceptible to a hip fracture. Symptoms include:

  • Immobility immediately after a fall.
  • Severe pain in your hip or groin.
  • Inability to put weight on your leg on the side of the injured hip.
  • Stiffness, bruising and swelling in and around your hip.
  • Shorter leg on the side of the injured hip.
  • Foot on the side of your injured hip turns out, away from your opposite leg.

Surgery is usually the best and most effective treatment to repair a hip fracture.

Bone Tumors

These are lumps or masses of tissue that form when bone cells divide uncontrollably. Most bone tumors are noncancerous (benign) and can be treated with medication. However, a tumor can replace healthy tissue with abnormal tissue, causing a bone to weaken and fracture. Surgery is the best treatment option for hip fractures.

Non-Surgical Relief for Hip Pain

Anti-inflammatory medications or injections can sometimes relieve pain by reducing swelling in the hip joint. Physical therapy and exercise can also relieve pain by strengthening a weak joint.  More information about these treatment options can be found at:

Surgical Relief for Hip Pain

If pain medications, physical therapy, cortisone injections or walking aids don’t give you relief, then surgery may be the right option for you. Our Foothills Hospital offers a comprehensive range of services through our experienced board-certified orthopedic surgeons supported by highly-trained nurses and technicians.

Our hip replacement program has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® by demonstrating compliance with national standards for quality and safety. The Joint Commission is the nation’s largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Foothills Hospital is one of only five Colorado hospitals to have earned this important certification.

Boulder Community is home to an expansive list of surgeons, so we’re sure you’ll find the orthopedist who is best for you. Visit our orthopedist list for information on surgeons affiliated with Boulder Community Health.

These hip surgeries are performed at Foothills Hospital.

  • Hip arthroscopy – minimally invasive surgery that repairs labral tears and cartilage damage.
  • Hip resurfacing – “open” surgery that replaces parts of the hip joint while conserving more bone than a total hip replacement.
  • Total hip joint replacement – “open” surgery where the hip joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint.

At BCH, we use a patient-centered approach to medical care. Every patient receives a personalized care plan that guides the entire medical team -- from the technicians who prepare the surgical suite to the rehabilitation therapists who help the patient take his first steps after surgery -- to deliver the best possible care in a safe and comfortable environment. We’ll chaperon you through every step of the surgical process and keep your family members in the loop, too.

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