Hip arthritis

We will get you moving again as quickly as possible

The hip joint is one of the most important in the body, we rely on our hip joints for virtually every activity in life. When the hip stops working effectively our quality of life becomes severely affected. Wear and tear of the joint (osteoarthritis) affects just over 10% of the population, and 3% severely. It can occur in any joint but weight-bearing joints such as your hip are more commonly affected.

Osteoarthritis causes a combination of pain and stiffness of the joint. Everyday tasks such as bending, putting on your shoes and even walking gradually becomes more difficult. As it worsens it can become more difficult to sleep. Although there is no cure for wear and tear arthritis, there are many options to help you improve your symptoms. The earlier you commence treatment the more likely you can maintain your quality of life.

At Schoen Clinic our specialists will explore every option to improve your symptoms and quality of life, aiming to delay the need for a joint replacement, where possible. If conservative treatments fail to help then a hip replacement may become necessary. Our experts use the latest surgical and anaesthetic techniques to ensure a successful outcome from your surgery.

The hip joint

The femur and pelvis are linked together at the hip joint. There is a protective layer of cartilage tissue which acts as a buffer or cushion. This can wear down over years and specialists then refer to this as hip osteoarthritis or hip arthritis.

Symptoms of hip arthritis

Pain in the hips and reduced mobility are clear signs of hip osteoarthritis. The hip joint is essentially a ball in a socket. Arthritis of the hip is a progressive process where the normally smooth surface of the joint (articular cartilage) becomes worn down so that the underlying bone becomes exposed. Initially the symptoms vary in their severity, however as the damage to the joint progresses, the symptoms become more persistent and intrusive.

Remember that symptoms may occur for reasons other than arthritis.
  • Increasing stiffness of the hip
  • Increasing pain on weightbearing

Causes: How hip osteoarthritis occurs

The hip is a common site of pain and the pain itself often originates directly from the joint surfaces – usually due to osteoarthritis. However, sometimes hip pain can arise from pain in the tissues around the hip, or from wear and tear of the back. A precise diagnosis of the origin of your hip problem will help lead to rapid treatment and recovery.

The most common cause of arthritis is simple wear and tear of the joint. However, other causes include:
  • Inflammatory conditions of the joint
  • Infection
  • Previous injury
  • Abnormalities of the joint you may have been born with

Osteoarthritis of the hip: Diagnosis is the first step

At Schoen Clinic we first take a history from you and then assess the mobility of your hip by examination.

Appropriate investigations using our imaging equipment can be performed. X-rays, CT or MRI may be necessary.

Imaging – A crucial tool for an accurate diagnosis

At Schoen Clinic we have the latest imaging equipment including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT), as well as ultrasound scanning and digital X-ray.

X-ray and CT imaging
In arthritis of the hip, X-ray imaging will usually confirm the diagnosis. On these X-ray images, our experts can see if the bone of the joint has changed in shape or the joint space has narrowed. The more cartilage that’s missing in the hip joint, the narrower the joint space. The CT scan may help to show the bones in three dimensions.

If necessary, further scans may be requested to allow a thorough assessment of your hip. An MRI scan can identify soft tissue problems such as the bursitis which cannot be seen on an X-ray.

Blood tests or take a fluids sample from the hip joint

If we suspect inflammatory joint disease, these additional examinations may be required for a more accurate diagnosis.

Getting you back on your feet – and hips

If you have been diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis, we will discuss with you all the available therapeutic options. In many cases, conservative treatments can stop or delay the need for more invasive solutions such as surgery. We believe in giving good professional advice on the condition of your hip, so that we can agree on a treatment plan together.

At Schoen Clinic we believe you should be looked after by world class experts in their field of surgery. Consequently, our hip surgeons work collaboratively as a team ensuring you see the very best person to deal with your problem. We have nationally recognised experts in both the field of keyhole hip surgery (hip arthroscopy) and minimally invasive hip replacement surgery.

Hip replacement surgery

Regaining movement and functionality with hip replacement surgery
At Schoen Clinic, our leading hip surgeons are experts in joint replacement surgery and have some of the best results on the UK National Joint Registry. The Schoen Clinic philosophy is to practice evidence-based medicine to ensure you receive the very best care at every stage of your treatment. We also believe in evidencing the outcomes of the treatments we give to ensure every patient receives the very best care. This way we can ensure continuous improvement in the care we give. This core philosophy is fundamental to the Schoen Clinic Group and has led to us being regarded as one of the leaders in the healthcare field in Europe. We are extremely proud of this new approach to healthcare in London.

Hip replacement surgery is one of modern medicine’s most successful interventions. Patients usually regain normal function and, in many cases a new hip will last them the rest of their lives. Your surgeon will discuss the implant best suited to your needs.

Prior to your surgery you will be invited to a thorough multidisciplinary pre-assessment with a consultant anaesthetist, nurse and a physiotherapist. This is to help prepare you for your surgery, identify any medical needs and plan for your return home after your successful surgery.

Hip osteoarthritis: Treatment without surgery

Step 1: Hip osteoarthritis: Relieve pain
Where possible, we will conduct hip osteoarthritis treatment without surgery. Pain therapy has always been a top priority for us, so via a combination of painkilling and anti-inflammatory medication we can successfully minimise your pain and reduce the inflammatory parameters in the hip joint.

Step 2: Hip osteoarthritis: Exercises for improved mobility
Our highly experienced physiotherapists also assist you in carrying out effective exercises to support the healing process. This helps tendons and muscles in the hips, which have shortened due to altered or poor posture, stretch out again in a fully targeted way to help increase your range of motion. Regaining strength in the muscles surrounding your hips can assist with mobility and function.

Hip osteoarthritis: Rehabilitation & aftercare

Our pioneering anaesthetists have developed special anaesthetic techniques to match the minimally invasive surgical technique. This allows a rapid return to normal function whilst minimising discomfort and nausea. Our unique Rapid Recovery Programme was created to help you get the best from your surgery. The aim is to get you up on your feet and walking on your new hip within hours of surgery which aids in a quicker recovery and return to normal function.
Schoen Clinic Orthopaedic and Spinal Hospital London is the first and only elective orthopaedic hospital to have resident intensive care consultants looking after patients 24 hours a day on the ward. This enables us to provide the highest possible level of care and safety, thus minimising the risk of complications. Early mobilisation following surgery reduces complications and enables early discharge back to your home.

Following discharge, we would normally see you at two weeks to check on your progress. Providing you are safe to do so, it is common for you to return to driving and your consultant will be able to clarify this with you.

Hip osteoarthritis: Our specialists

With leaders in innovative and minimally invasive hip surgeries, our team of hip experts will help you regain your quality of life.

Hip osteoarthritis: Our specialised hospital

We pride ourselves on providing you with the best care for your hip pain. Our world-class team of hip experts and Rapid Recovery Programme will enable you to return to normal in the shortest possible time.