Treatment of Primary Hip Osteoarthritis for the Primary Care Physician and the Indications for Total Hip Arthroplasty

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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that commonly affects knees and hips with an annual incidence of 88 in 100,000 people in the United States. The purpose of this study was to review the clinical presentation of osteoarthritis of the hip as well as the available management options. We reviewed the recent literature in regard to epidemiology, presentation, and treatment options available to patients. Nonoperative treatments include weight loss and low-impact, aerobic exercises. Along with weight loss and exercise, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), narcotics, and intra-articular steroid injections have been used to improve patient's symptoms. Surgical intervention is a viable option; however, indications such as severe pain that is refractory to nonsurgical management, osteophytes, or joint space narrowing on radiographic films, or impairment of function should be present. The most common surgical option, total hip arthroplasty, has been shown to improve a patient's physical and psychological well-being. However, inherent risks are present with surgery and these should be addressed with the patient so a sound decision can be made. Osteoarthritis of the hip can be bothersome to patients, but physicians can begin management with lifestyle changes or pharmaceuticals. In the event nonoperative measures fail to markedly improve quality of life, total hip arthroplasty remains a viable option.

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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants





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This article was published in Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants, Volume 23, Number 4, January 2013, Pages 323-30.

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