Encyclopedia

Coxarthrosis

What is coxarthrosis?

Coxarthrosis is a chronic inflammation of the hip joint. It is one of the most common diseases of the musculoskeletal system. When the cartilaginous surfaces that reduce the friction between the bones connecting in the joint are worn away, the condition is referred to as arthritis of the hip joint or coxarthrosis.

With the reduction of the cartilage surface, the movements of the bones connected in the joint are severely limited. And over time, the bones are also deformed and humps develop in the form of branches /osteophytes/ – better known as spines.

What are the causes?

Unfortunately, medical science still cannot fully explain the cause of the disease. There are a number of factors that can cause the disease, starting with a sedentary lifestyle and ending with various traumas and the associated occurrence of fractures. Almost all age groups of people are prone to the disease.

However, the disease most often develops in people over 40 years of age. In the initial stages of the disease, the so-called sparing methods of treatment can be applied, i.e. conservative non-surgical treatment.

But the majority of people tend to ignore the initial symptoms of the disease. For example, periodic annoying pains in the joints, hips, groin and knees, and as a result the disease becomes chronic because it is not treated in time.

How many stages does the disease go through?

Usually there are 3 stages. Initially, those affected feel periodic pains mainly in the hips and they appear most often after intense physical exertion. These unpleasant sensations subside relatively quickly and that is why they are often ignored and treatment is not started promptly.

In the second stage, the pain intensifies and covers the entire thigh and groin, resulting in a pressing and burning sensation. However, the symptoms appear not only after physical exertion, but also at rest. With long-term loads, the mobility of the affected joints decreases more and more.

In the third stage, patients suffer from long-lasting pain in the hip area. Movement of the affected joints is severely limited and therefore patients must use aids such as a cane.

Pain is associated with limitation of range of motion, resulting in partial atrophy of the thighs, calves, and gluteal muscles and eventual shortening of the affected leg.

Treatment of coxarthrosis

In the initial stage, specialists usually recommend conservative drug treatment, usually combining sedative, antirheumatic and anti-inflammatory drugs. Also, the drug chondroitin can slow down the development of atrosis.

Physiotherapy is an additional treatment option that aims to strengthen the local muscles around the affected joint, stimulate metabolism and reduce the pain and inflammation that usually accompany coxarthrosis.

Homeopathic medicines, electroimpulse therapy and therapy to build damaged cartilage are considered alternative medicine. In the latter case, for example, proteins from the patient’s immune system are used to destroy cartilage, which is one of the consequences of the disease.

However, if the disease is already too advanced, the only possible treatment is surgery. Most often, hip arthroscopy is applied, which is a minimally invasive procedure that allows the elimination of cartilage damage through a replacement material that is placed in places where the cartilage has decreased in volume or disappeared completely. Partial or total hip prostheses are often recommended in very severe cases of coxarthrosis

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