Arthrosis and prostheses
The hip joint consists of the rounded off hip head and the shell-like hip joint socket. It forms the flexible connection between the legs and the torso.
The contact surfaces of the two bony structures are covered with a soft layer of cartilage tissue. Mucous membrane formed by the synovial fluid assures feeding the cartilage and lubricating the joint.
Various causes bring about accelerated wearing away of this cartilage covering, up to the point of complete exposure of the joint bones. This state of the loss of cartilage is called arthrosis. Mechanical and non-mechanical causes are responsible for the origin of the arthrosis. What is common to all forms is a profile of symptoms with increasing pain and corresponding limitation of movement. The diagnosis of coxarthrosis is confirmed by clinical examination and targeted x-ray images. Typically, what is found includes an elevation or narrowing of the joint cavity, a thickening of the bony tissue under the cartilage, the formation of local bony cavities (cysts),even complete destruction of the bone, and a reactive formation of bony areas on the edges.
In the initial stages, conservative measures can be tried to reduce the symptoms (losing weight, crutches, pain medication, physical therapy, etc.).
In younger patients with hip pains and only slight signs of arthrosis on the x-ray, the treating physician may recognize a precondition of the disease, still little known, what is called the "femoro-acetabular impingement syndrome". In some cases, this early form of the disease can be successfully treated through joint imaging.
If the arthrosis is already in an advanced stage, as a rule only an artificial hip replacement is to be recommended as treatment.