Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and is the most frequent cause of discomfort and chronic hip pain. During the winter months, cold weather and pressure changes can cause pain and stiffness to increase in already painful joints. Joint pain and stiffness can also worsen during the winter because many of us are less physically activity when it’s cold outside, but exercise is an important way to decrease stiffness and strengthen your joints. Exercising in the cold can be dangerous when there is snow or ice on the ground, and falls are a very common cause of injury, often requiring surgery and months of recovery time. Practicing low impact exercises that are easy on the joints in a clear and flat area inside is a great way to get the exercise your body needs while minimizing the risk of injury.
If an individual is experiencing consistent pain from hip arthritis (which usually generates pain in the front, groin area) and limited ability to engage in normal, daily activities, it may be time to discuss treatment options, and possibly joint replacement, with an orthopedic specialist. Orthopedic specialists within the Cone Health Network are performing both anterior and posterior (conventional) hip replacement procedures. The anterior approach utilizes a muscle interval in front of the hip joint that goes in between the muscles and tendons, rather than cutting them to access the joint. By causing less damage to surrounding tissue, the proposed benefits of anterior hip replacement include a quicker hospital stay, less pain after surgery, and a faster recovery.
Ultimately, advancements in hip replacement procedures are significantly improving quality of life for patients suffering from debilitating joint disease, and allowing them to return to normal activities within a few months or less. It is important for individuals who are suffering from hip arthritis to find an orthopedic specialist they feel comfortable with when considering joint replacement surgery. Fortunately, our community is home to Cone Health’s Orthopedic Center of Excellence and a network of joint specialists who undergo continuous training and perform hundreds of successful joint replacement procedures each year.
Dr. Timothy Murphy is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacement and sports surgery at in Greensboro and a member of the Cone Health medical staff. Dr. Murphy received his medical degree from UNC School of Medicine and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the UNC Department of Orthopaedics.