The hip is a large ball and socket joint composed of the head of the femur (leg bone) and acetabulum of the pelvis. Muscles, ligaments, tendons and soft tissues stabilize and move the hips. When a patient injures their hip, their ability to perform weight-bearing activities decreases and pain can also present.
Older patients and active individuals/athletes make up the patient populations that most frequently injure their hips. The three most common hip injuries are:
1. Hip Bursitis
Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs found around joints that act as cushions between bones and soft tissue structures. They help the muscles and tendons around the hip to move smoothly. When one or more of the bursae become irritated or inflamed, bursitis is said to be present. The most common causes of hip bursitis include the following:
- Tightness in certain muscle groups
Symptoms of pain and tenderness present with bursitis. Symptoms typically become worse with movement. In most cases, bursitis and the symptoms it causes are effectively treated using a combination of rest, activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, injections and physical therapy.
2. Labral Tear of the Hip
The labrum is a circular piece of soft tissue that attaches to the acetabulum. The labrum protects the integrity of the hip joint by helping hold the head of the femur in the acetabulum. A labral tear occurs when the labrum is partially torn. Pain and instability are commonly associated with labral tears. The most common causes of the injury include the following:
- Anatomical abnormalities
Labral tears may be treated using nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. The goal of treatment is to decrease pain and stabilize the injury location. An orthopedic specialist makes his treatment recommendations based on the severity of the tear and physical condition and age of the patient.
3. Hip Fracture
A fracture is a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention. Patients who fracture their hip typically experience pain and have a difficult time moving. Fractures may be caused by the following:
- Impact traumas (car wrecks, a fall from heights, a sudden blow, a collision)
- Forceful sports movements
The severity of the fracture determines the treatment option that will be used. Nonsurgical and surgical treatment options are available. The goal of treatment is to reduce the fracture and give it time to heal. Symptoms of pain improve as bone healing occurs over the course of several months.
Seeking Treatment for a Hip Injury
If you have experienced an injury or are experiencing any of the symptoms above, please contact our office in either Plymouth, Duxbury or Sandwich, MA to make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Specialists. We are currently accepting new patients and will get you in right away!