Diagnosing Hip Arthritis in Washington Township Patients

October 1st, 2015

Hip pain, stiffness, and instability caused by arthritis can be debilitating, interfering with your quality of life. If you are experiencing these symptoms, the cause may be hip arthritis. Don’t let it keep you from doing the things you love. Patients with hip arthritis in Washington Township are finding relief at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute.

What is hip arthritis and what are the symptoms?


Hip arthritis is inflammation of the joint where the top of the femur (thigh bone) connects to the pelvis. This inflammation can be caused by several conditions, but the most common is osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, which causes erosion of the cartilage that normally protects bones from rubbing against each other. As a result, the joint becomes inflamed. Symptoms of hip arthritis in Washington Township patients may include:

  • Painful hips, buttocks, groin, or knees

  • Swollen hip

  • Less range of motion in the hip

  • Skin at the hip that is red or warm to the touch

  • Stiffness in the joint, especially when getting up from sitting or lying down


Each patient will experience symptoms differently, and you may not have all of the symptoms listed. If these symptoms become chronic, you should talk to a doctor about treatment.


How are patients with hip arthritis in Washington Township diagnosed?


Doctors have a number of ways to diagnose hip arthritis in Washington Township patients, often with a single exam. Your physician will ask you questions about your symptoms, personal health history, and family medical history. She or he will also likely perform a physical exam. This exam may involve asking you to walk across the room to check for a limp, as well as to perform some simple movements to examine your range of motion. Pressing on your hip and spine can help a doctor check for abnormalities. An examination of your feet and legs may be done to check for differences in leg length which may be caused by arthritis. Reduced range of motion or pain during range of motion tests can also indicate hip arthritis. Often, your doctor may be able to make a preliminary diagnosis from just this physical exam.


If the physical exam is not completely conclusive, your physician may send you for additional tests, such as an imaging scan. These tests include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Ultrasound, Computer Tomography (CT or CAT scans) or X-rays. Each of these scans shows a specialized picture of the internal structures of your hip.


What happens after I am diagnosed?


If you are diagnosed with hip arthritis, your doctor will talk to you about a number of treatment options, depending on the severity of your pain and loss of joint function. Many of these treatments are lifestyle changes, including diet and light exercise, physical therapy, and weight loss. Sometimes, during an episode of acutely debilitating pain, your doctor may recommend an injection of medication directly into the hip. Other treatments, such as total joint replacement, may involve surgery. Your doctor can talk to you about which options you want to pursue to treat your hip arthritis.


Are you exhibiting symptoms of hip arthritis in Washington Township? Rothman Orthopaedic Institute has twenty offices throughout the Philadelphia region, including one conveniently located right in Washington Township. Call to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopaedic specialists today at 800.321.9999


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