Arthritis and hip pain are very common issues, especially in men who are active in sports or have physically demanding jobs. Hip pain that appears rather suddenly can stem from acute injuries, like sprains or strains, or overuse injuries, such as tendinitis or bursitis. Chronic hip pain may indicate hip arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in men and is typically caused by gradual wear-and-tear damage to the joint, a history of minor hip injuries, or can occur after a serious, traumatic injury like hip fracture. Seeking medical evaluation and treatment of hip pain is important, since many hip problems can cause disability if left untreated.
Avoiding Hip Injuries and Arthritis
While minor aches, pains and hip injuries might not seem like a big deal when they happen, each one does a bit of damage to the hip. Over time, that damage can lead to osteoarthritis, which can become very painful, limiting mobility or even causing disability. Seeing your doctor for treatment when they happen and taking steps to prevent future injuries can help prevent the development of serious hip problems later.
Avoiding hip injuries means keeping the hips strong and healthy. Your hip joints need strong support from the muscles that surround them to function smoothly, which minimizes joint stress and wear. If you’re a hard-working guy or are very active in sports, it might seem that your regular activities are enough to keep your hips in great shape, but that isn’t necessarily so.
Muscle imbalance can be an issue, where some muscles have been worked more often and extensively than others, which can affect joint alignment and stability and make sprains, strains and overuse injuries more likely. Adding some targeted hip exercises to your routine to ensure that all the muscles that support hip function are in optimal condition can decrease injury risk.
Why Strong, Healthy Hips Matter
Hip problems, like osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint conditions, and traumatic hip injuries, like fractures, are among the most common causes of disability in adults and lead to more than 450,000 hip replacements a year in the United States. While hip replacement can be a great option to restore mobility to an active guy who has been affected by serious hip trouble, it is not a quick and easy solution. It is major surgery, so there are risks, and recovery is a long and sometimes frustrating process.
Additionally, hip joint replacements have been a bit riskier than usual lately, due to poorly designed and defective hip implants, several of which have been recalled. Among the products recalled for high-failure rates and excessive complications are two DePuy ASR hip replacement systems — implants that were often recommended for active patients, since their metal-on-metal design was meant to be more durable than previous hip implant models.
However, these implants, used in thousands of surgeries, can lead to a serious complication called metallosis, which is caused by metallic debris shed from implant components. Metallosis can cause severe pain and inflammation in the hip, which can lead to tissue death and bone loss around the implant site. Preventing hip problems is the best way to avoid such problems.