Arthritis in hips and legs is a disease that provokes pathological changes in cartilaginous tissue of knees, feet, thigh and pelvis. Coxitis is the second name for this hip disease and it derives from the Latin term «coxa», which is thigh. This disease is characterized by inflammation in joint cavity. Hip arthritis, as a rule, develops in people who already have other joints affected by arthritis.
The function of the hip joint is very important. It connects your thigh bones of your lower extremities to your pelvis. Therefore, it has to withstand great loads throughout your life.
Causes and Classification of Hip Arthritis
The most frequent causes of the development of hip arthritis are:
- Autoimmune response. It happens when your immune system directs its action against your organs and systems. For example, rheumatoid arthritis in a hip joint is often accompanied by the immune system aggression directed to your connective tissues;
- Metabolism disorders. For example, a common cause of arthritis is gout, triggered by the accumulation of excessive amount of uric acid, which is deposited in your joint cavity of one or both hips;
- Sometimes hip arthritis can be provoked by complications of any acute or chronic infectious disease;
- Too much exercising that creates excessive load on your joints. However, normal physical activity is very important, so ask your doctor to choose the best exercises for you.
Doctors classify coxitis depending on the initial cause and course of the disease. There are several types of the disease, symptoms and causes of which slightly differ from each other. It is important to find out exactly which kind of illness you have, because hip arthritis treatment should be adjusted according to the form of the disease. There are following types of hip arthritis:
- Septic. It often develops on the background of ankylosing spondylitis or rheumatoid arthritis;
- Non-specific. This form of arthritis is complicated by the emergence of purulent inflammation;
- Specific. A common cause of this type of the disease is tuberculosis, gonorrhea or syphilis;
- Infectious-allergic. Symptoms of coxitis appear on the background of immunity struggling with infectious diseases, for example with measles or dysentery;
- Reactive arthritis of hip is a purulent form of the disease caused by urogenital or intestinal infection;
- Degenerative disease or osteoarthritis. It can affect any of your joints and is usually connected to natural aging of your body;
- In addition, specialists also make a distinction between primary bone and primary synovial coxitis.
Symptoms of Hip Disease Depending on Their Nature
Symptoms of hip arthritis may vary depending on the location of the inflammatory focus, as well as the factors that triggered the disease. For instance, purulent arthritis in most cases has symptoms of intoxication including fever, frequent weakness, inability to perform habitual actions, unusual fatigue end excessive sweating.
These hip arthritis symptoms are often accompanied by characteristic painful sensation in the affected joint, its swelling and redness of the skin surrounding the joint (hyperemia). Body temperature often rises and patient’s condition worsens with greater intensity than in other forms of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis in hip often manifests itself with joint stiffness in the morning, pain of medium intensity and sometimes swelling in the affected area. Rheumatoid arthritis manifestations are usually bilateral and very often are accompanied by disorders of internal organs.
The characteristic feature of gouty arthritis is frequent prolonged pain attacks that can last up to 10 days. After this term you can suddenly feel pain relief. These phases usually interchange.
Coxitis provoked by psoriasis as an autoimmune process is accompanied by specific bluish-purple staining of your skin near the inflamed joint. The disease process can involve lower back causing corresponding pain location.
Tuberculous arthritis of hip in children begins with early signs of tuberculosis intoxication. Knee pain gradually moves to hips, causing its immobility, muscle atrophy and possible shortening of the affected limb.
Common Symptoms of Coxitis
In the clinical course of any type of hip arthritis general symptoms are similar. Among the most typical signs for all forms of arthritis of the hip are the following:
- Pain in the joints is often mild in the early stages and gradually increases as the disease progresses. Sometimes painful manifestation shifts to the knee area. Sharp, shooting pain characterizes purulent arthritis. Arthritis of tuberculous etiology causes dull pain;
- All patients feel unusual stiffness in movement and are unable to straighten the affected joint rapidly;
- When you press the affected area, you can feel pain of varying intensity;
- At the initial stage of the disease doctors can notice flattening of the natural skin folds in groin and buttocks area;
- As the disease progresses, you can develop atrophy of the thigh and groin muscles;
- Continuous progression of the disease can cause bone or fibrous ankyloses, which is immobility caused by abnormal splice of joint surfaces;
- Development of lameness.
To diagnose arthritis and define its type your doctor will ask you to make blood and urine test, to make X ray diagnostics and to undergo a synovial fluid analyses.
Hip Arthritis Treatment
How to treat arthritis of hip joint at different stages of the disease? In the complex treatment of hip arthritis doctors highlight some of the most important incremental methods:
- drug therapy;
- orthopedic therapies;
- surgical intervention in the integrity of the affected joint;
- spa treatment and other natural cures.
At the initial stage of the disease treatment of hip arthritis is performed by ensuring complete immobility of your joint with the help of plaster bars and plaster beds. Systemic medication therapy aims to relieve inflammation and pain. This is usually achieved with the help of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Non-steroidal drugs can be combined with corticosteroids. As a rule, patients get these by injections. If there is a purulent inflammatory process, patients receive antibiotics. In most cases these measures help to stop the inflammatory process. However, when means of potent medication fail, doctors turn to surgery. The affected joint is opened and cleaned of pus and dead tissues.
After you overcome the acute inflammatory process and become close to healing, your doctor can prescribe massage and physiotherapy, aimed at improving your joint mobility and stimulation of blood circulation in those tissues that did not get enough movement during the immobility period. You can also ask your doctor to prescribe some natural remedies for arthritis that will support your state during the remission stage.
If all the described methods fail or in case of severe arthritis in hip joint, the rheumatologist can suggest an operation on the affected hip joint. Prosthesis is used as a last measure, which may be necessary when treatment was not started on time.
There are many reasons for joint diseases, but you can more or less influence the possibility of not developing one of them by taking precaution measures. You should give up bad habits, eat healthy food with enough vitamins, do yoga or special stretches. People with hip arthritis can benefit from such moderate exercises.
If you have any groin pain or discomfort in this area, immediately visit a doctor. It is irresponsible to endure pain and terminate proper treatment. Another stupid thing to do is to cure yourself with doubtful home remedies without knowing the exact diagnosis.
Almost every serious disease can be overcome, if the specialists diagnose it in time. You should know that very often neglected arthritis causes disability. Therefore, doctors strongly advise to carefully monitor your state and not to neglect even the slightest symptoms.