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More Hip Injury Facts:

The hip joint (scientifically known as the acetabulofemoral joint) is a special type of 'ball-and-socket' joint. Its primary function is to support the weight of the body when at rest or while in motion.

Many patients with Hip Pain are actually diagnosed as suffering from Sciatica. Many of our past client have found success in their treatments by incorporating the use of a Hip/Back TShellz Wrap® in their conservative treatment plan.

The majority of chronic hip problems are a result of aging, disease (such as arthritis) and fractures.

A Hip Replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces the hip joint with an artifical joint. Many MendMyHip customers have sped up their post-surgery recovery time with our therapeutic tools.

Bursitis of the Hip (trochanteric bursitis) is so painful, many sufferers rely on a wheelchar for mobility. Hip Bursitis is a condition that typically responds well to conservative treatments.

The most common injury in the hip is snapping hip syndrome due to a tight illotibial band. This syndrome responds very well to heat treatments.

Hip Dislocations are very serious but uncommon injuries that occasionally can occur (usually from a traumatic event). If you suspect you have a dislocated hip, please seek medical attention immediately.


Bursa Pain Specialists are Friendly and Helpful.

Hip Osteonecrosis

Hip necrosis, also called osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis, is a painful condition in which lack of proper blood flow to the head of the femur results in osteocytes and the bone marrow dying. This weakens the bone and can lead to a collapse of the femur head and eventual arthritis as the surface of the femur head (articular cartilage) changes shape.

Osteonecrosis in the femoral head

The teres ligament connects the top of the femoral head to the tissue inside the acetabular joint and contains a small artery that supplies blood to the femoral head. The lateral and medial circumflex femoral arteries branch off the femoral artery and supply the femoral head with the majority of its blood supply. The femoral artery is a large blood supplier that starts in the pelvis and travels down the leg to the inside of the knee.

If the blood supply is not steady enough to keep the femoral head healthy, osteonecrosis can set in. Blood supply to the femoral head may be affected if there is a fracture in the neck of the femoral neck or a tear in the teres ligament

Symptoms of Hip Osteonecrosis

A patient suffering from hip osteonecrosis will typically exhibit one or more of the following symptoms..

  • Limping
  • Pain in the hip joint that increases over time
  • Hip pain with movement but may occur even at rest
  • A sharp pain in the groin that can radiate down the inner thigh
  • Limited flexibility and range of motion in the hip
  • Severe pain if the bone collapses from weakness

To make a diagnosis, your doctor may take an x-ray to rule out a fracture (as this is often the cause of limited blood flow to the femoral head). An MRI will be the best tool to determine the state of the cartilage and other soft tissue in the hip joint. A bone scan or CT scan could also be used to help with the diagnosis.

Causes and Risks of Hip Osteonecrosis

Trauma to the hip joint (i.e. fracture or dislocation) can interrupt the flow of blood to the femoral head, leading to osteonecrosis. In some cases, osteonecrosis can occur with no obvious reason, however, some conditions and indicators appear to put some people at greater risk:

  • Being between 30 and 60 years of age
  • Hip fracture or dislocation of the hip
  • Using steroid medications
  • Conditions that may weaken bone or impair blood flow (i.e. Gaucher disease, sickle cell disease, alcoholism, diabetes, gout)
  • Radiation therapy

Hip Osteonecrosis - What Can Be Done to Treat it?

Diagnosing osteonecrosis early will allow for the cause of the limited blood flow to be corrected and treated, reducing the amount of bone damage done. For any chronic condition that may cause hip necrosis or once the arteries are repaired, improving blood flow to the hip joint is essential to prevent any further bone marrow from dying and improving the health of the hip joint.

Surgical Treatments

Osteonecrosis treatment Hip decompression or vascularized bone graft

There are two surgical treatments for the early stages of osteonecrosis. The first is hip decompression where they drill holes in the area of the hip osteonecrosis to help relieve the pressure on the femoral head.

The other treatment is to do a vascularized bone graft. In this procedure, healthy bone and blood vessels are taken from another part of the leg and moved to the area affected by osteonecrosis.

If the osteonecrosis has progressed into later stages, treatment is typically limited to either (1) a total hip replacement or (2) a hip resurfacing surgery . The goal of a hip replacement is to restore function and mobility to the hip with artificial parts. This is a good option, as it solves the problem long term and most people with artificial hips live active, healthy lives after their surgery.

Treating Osteonecrosis of the Hip

Much like a hip fracture or a hip dislocation, hip osteonecrosis is a serious medical emergency! Immediate treatment is necessary, so get to the hospital quickly.

With a osteonecrosis, it is pretty much a given that you will be undergoing surgery. Significant secondary damage will probably have occurred from the fracture, including complications to nearby nerves, blood vessels and protective cartilage in the joint. Most probably, the ligaments surrounding the hip joint will have been damaged - perhaps strained or even ruptured. All of these issues will determine the length of your rehabilitation. In some cases, damage to blood vessels near the hip joint can cause a loss of blood supply to the bone - this is known as osteonecrosis.

In nearly all cases of recovery, your physician, physical therapist or surgeon will recommend a treatment recovery plan for you that will include Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Stretching - basically an outline of conservative treatments. Protocols used in recovery from a hip fracture basically the same protocols found in hip post surgery recovery. View more information about post operative recovery/rehabilitation of the hip here.

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Learn More About Hip Joint Injuries & Treatments

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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!


Hip Injury Facts:

Over 90% of hip fractures are caused by falling, most frequently on the side of the hip.

Less than 50% of hip fracture patients return to their former level of activity. Proper treatment is important to maintain strength and range of motion.

Hip alignment affects the pressure put on the knees. A hip disorder can aggravate knee pain and vice versa.

1 in 7 Americans, over the age of 60, reports significant hip pain.

In most cases, arthritis pain will not benefit from a hip arthroscopy.

70% of non-fracture hip replacements in 2003-2004 were to treat osteoarthritis.


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