Here’s How Your Hip Works

Here’s How Your Hip Works

Your hip joint is critical when it comes to allowing a wide range of movement and holding much of your body’s weight. When something goes awry with your hip, you know it right away.

Unfortunately, hip pain isn’t a mere distraction; it can put a stop to participating in your favorite activities, as well as ones required in your day-to-day life, from walking to squatting and standing with your legs apart. 

Dr. Struan Coleman and his capable team know all too well the problems that can plague your hip joint — and you! No matter what challenge you’re dealing with, Dr. Coleman’s expertise in sports medicine and sincere interest in his patients allow him to customize an effective treatment plan, so you can regain freedom of movement and enjoy life again without stubborn hip pain.

The mechanics of your hip joint

Your hip joint consists of a ball-and-socket joint that enables fluid movement, but there’s more to learn:

Through all the movements that your hip performs, the soft and cushiony cartilage acts as your hip joint’s shock absorber. A membrane called the synovial membrane envelops your hip joint and produces synovial fluid, which lubricates your entire joint.

As the connector of the lower part of your body to your trunk, your hips allow you to move your body in several different ways:

  1. Hip rotation: when you point your toes inward or outward
  2. Hip flexion and extension: when you move your hip back and forth
  3. Hip abduction: when you move your hip outward toward your side
  4. Hip adduction: when you move your hip inward

When your hips are performing as they should, you can move in a multitude of ways, from playing your favorite sports and walking your dog briskly, to vigorously cleaning your house or enjoying a long gardening session. When you experience hip problems, they can lower your quality of life significantly. 

What problems are my hips prone to? 

Unfortunately, hip pain and limited movement are caused by a wide range of problems, including wear-and-tear-related conditions like osteoarthritis, injuries such as sprains, fractures, and pinched nerves, and instability caused by osteoporosis and certain joint diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition. 

Femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) is another painful hip condition where friction leads to damage of the cartilage in either your hip’s ball or socket. You can be affected by either the Cam type of FAI, where the head of your femur is distorted, or a Pincer type, when your hip socket envelops more of your femur than it should. 

FAI symptoms include groin as well as hip pain, which worsens over time. At first you just notice the pain when you move, but as it progresses, it may become ever-present. Some people develop an audible “click” that accompanies movement as part of FAI. 

In addition to sensory discomfort, your movement may become quite limited. Your ability to walk can be affected, your gait can change, and you might have trouble making it up and down stairs and rising from a sitting position.

Can you offer any solutions for my hip discomfort and limited mobility?

We’re happy to say that after performing a thorough physical examination and having an in-depth conversation with you about your history of pain and overall health history, Dr. Coleman can create a course for treatment that will have you moving freely — without the constant companion of pain. 

Successful treatments for hip pain include: 

Unfortunately, sometimes less-invasive treatments don’t work to relieve your pain, and Dr. Coleman recommends minimally invasive arthroscopy surgery to correct your FAI. During the procedure, he reshapes the Cam or Pincer part of your hip joint, or both, and he can address labral tears as well. 

Minimally invasive surgery requires just a few small incisions instead of the large one of traditional open surgery, which means it’s typically an outpatient procedure. This type of surgery is also associated with faster recovery and less pain, bleeding, and scarring, as well as a reduced rate of post-surgical infection. 

If you long to be free from chronic hip pain and the movement problems that accompany hip conditions, call any of our convenient offices to schedule an appointment, or contact us through our website.

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