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Hip Conditions and Treatments at UPMC in Central Pa.

As you age, cartilage in the hip can wear down or become damaged. The muscles and tendons may suffer from overuse, or the hip bone itself can be fractured during a fall or from another injury.

At UPMC in Central Pa., we take a multidisciplinary approach to treating a wide range of hip conditions, including:

  • Articular Cartilage. Articular cartilage is the smooth, white tissue that covers the ends of bones where joints form. Healthy cartilage makes it easier to move our joints, allowing the bones to glide over each other will little friction. Articular cartilage can be damaged by injury or normal wear and tear.
  • Bone spurs. A bone spur is a bony growth formed on a normal bone. Most people think of something sharp when they think of a "spur," but a bone spur is just extra bone. It's usually smooth, but it can cause wear and tear or pain if it presses or rubs on other bones or soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, or nerves in the body.
  • Bursitis (Hip Bursitis). Bursitis of the hip is inflammation of one or both of the bursae (plural of bursa) found between the hip bone and the muscles on the outside of the hip. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions and lubricates areas of the body where friction is likely to occur. Examples of such areas include between two bones, between a tendon or ligament and a bone, and between bone and skin.
  • Hip Dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia is when a hip socket doesn't fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone. This allows the hip joint to become partially, and sometimes completely, dislocated.
  • Hip Fracture. A fracture is a break in a bone. Fractures can range from a hairline crack in the bone to the bone being broken into two or more pieces that no longer line up correctly. A fracture may occur at the same time as other injuries, such as sprains, strains, or dislocations. Hip fractures are most commonly caused by falls.
  • Joint Inflammation. Joint inflammation can cause pain and stiffness in the hip and can sometimes cause limping. Many parts of your hip joint can become inflamed including the tendons, bursa, ligaments, nerves, and muscles.
  • Muscle tears (strains). A muscle tear occurs when you stretch a muscle too far or put too much pressure on it. Strained muscled become inflamed as your body responds to the injury.
  • Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a painful problem with the joints caused by wear and tear on the cartilage. Healthy joints help your body move, bend, and twist. But when you have arthritis, simple, everyday movements can hurt.
  • Osteonecrosis. Osteonecrosis is bone death that occurs when the blood supply to the bone is decreased or stopped. Without an adequate blood supply, the bone breaks down and dies and collapses. If this occurs near a joint, the joint can become collapsed too.
  • Tendon Pain. Tendon pain can be caused by a number of factors. Tendons are the tough fibers that connect your muscle to your bones. Through aging, overuse or injury, these tendons can get small tears and scarring that make movement very painful.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body's natural defense system to attack the joints. RA causes the joints to become swollen, stiff, and painful or inflamed. Overtime, this inflammation can destroy the joint tissues.

We will work with you to diagnose your condition and devise a treatment plan that may first include nonsurgical options such as rest, physical therapy, injections, or over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and inflammation. But if your symptoms persist or get worse, surgical intervention or a total hip replacement may be the best option.

Getting Diagnosed

Determining the source of your pain is an important first step to effectively treating your condition. Our orthopaedic specialists use a variety of tests to arrive at a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.

Browse all of the orthopaedic diagnostic procedures offered at UPMC in Central Pa.

Non-surgical Treatment Options

The specialists at UPMC in Central Pa. can diagnose and treat injuries or medical conditions that are affecting your ability to exercise, participate in sports, or maintain an active lifestyle.

Our experts treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions as well as concussion. Should you need surgery, we will refer you to the appropriate specialist.

Browse all of the non-surgical treatment options offered at UPMC in Central Pa.

Surgical Treatment Options

At UPMC in Central Pa., we specialize in minimally invasive surgical techniques that decrease pain and recovery time. Most of our procedures are laparoscopic and use robotic-arm assisted capabilities, resulting in smaller incisions and minimal blood loss and scarring. Types of surgical procedures for the hip include:

  • Hip arthroscopy
  • Hip resurfacing
  • Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB) release
  • Robotic-arm assisted total hip replacement

We provide surgical care for a range of common and complex orthopaedic conditions. See the other conditions we treat with orthopaedic surgery. 

Number One in Joint Replacement Surgery

Should you need a hip replacement, you can be confident in the experts at UPMC in Central Pa. We perform more joint replacement surgeries than any other hospital in the state. Our comprehensive program offers complete patient care, from presurgery classes through rehabilitation.

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