Cartilage is an important part of the body’s anatomy. It has several essential functions, including holding the bones together, supporting other tissues, reducing friction on the bones, and providing a cushion between the joints.
If the hip cartilage becomes damaged, it can cause severe pain and inhibit your mobility. Non-invasive treatments and hip surgery can be performed to improve overall body function.
At Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, we provide a variety of preventative and restorative treatments for hip cartilage damage. Read on to learn more, and then contact our Austin, TX practice to schedule a consultation with us.
All cartilage can be damaged, causing severe pain, stiffness, inflammation, and decreased range of motion. As the damage progresses, pain gets worse and it becomes more difficult to complete normal daily tasks.
The hip, specifically, has an edge of rubber-like fibrocartilage called the labrum. The purpose of the labrum is to provide cushioning at the joints and seal in fluid. When joint fluid is maintained and healthy, it will protect the cartilage layers of the hip bones so that the thighbone can move easily and remain comfortable in the hip socket.
There are several reasons cartilage can become damaged:
Determining the difference between cartilage and ligament damage can be difficult because of the similarities in symptoms. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and arthroscopy can be used to identify problems.
An MRI provides a detailed image of the soft tissues. However, it cannot always detect cartilage damage.
An arthroscopy is a procedure in which an arthroscope is inserted into the joint to examine and repair it. The arthroscope is the most effective and useful diagnostic tool.
Many patients respond well to conservative, non-surgical treatment. This can include special exercises designed for the type of injury or physical therapy.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful, or steroid injections may be injected.
A brace or splint may help support the joint while it heals. If the damage to the cartilage is not extensive, then these options may be all that is needed. If conservative treatment options have not helped, surgical options will be explored.
Surgical options include:
Our team of doctors at the Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin are available to provide recommendations based on your condition. Conservative or surgical treatments will help manage your pain while improving your mobility. Contact us online to schedule a consultation or call us at 512-476-2830.