The hip is a ball-in-socket joint that is designed to be stable and move smoothly within a limited range. The bony surface of the socket (acetabulum), and ball (head of the femur or thigh bone) are covered by a smooth, shiny, white, gristle-like layer of tissue called articular cartilage. This layer allows the bones to glide smoothly over each other during hip motion. Articular cartilage can be damaged over time, as wear and tear takes effect. This can result in increased friction in the joint, leading to pain.

Patients usually complain of pain in the hip or groin area, associated with weight bearing. Sometimes a painful catching sensation may be felt if a loose body or cartilage flap is present.
The diagnosis is typically made by a combination of the patient’s history, the findings on physical examination and special X-ray evaluation to define the anatomy. Occasionally in the setting of severe diseases hip x-rays reveal bone-on-bone articulation, as the layer of cartilage has eroded completely.
The treatment approach depends on the symptoms experienced, the age and activity level of the patient, the pattern and extent of arthritic lesions, among other factors. Conservative treatment options include rest, activity modification and anti-inflammatory medication. For patients with persistent pain and/or functional limitations, in the setting of end-stage arthritis, surgery may be considered. Total hip replacement is the definitive surgical solution for advanced hip arthritis that does not respond to conservative treatments. The surgery involves removing the diseased segment of the joint, resurfacing the socket with a metallic cup and a plastic insert, and implanting a metallic femoral implant with a ball that articulates in the socket.

At Oceana Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, Dr. Aboka will thoroughly evaluate your hip condition and discuss your options. If surgery is indicated, Dr. Aboka specializes in hip replacement surgery utilizing innovative Micro implants that minimize the amount of healthy bone removed and facilitate implantation through a smaller incision.