Calcification of the hip is a problem that is characterized by the destruction of the cartilage layer surrounding the bones facing the joint, the formation of spiny protrusions on the bone edges, the hardening and deformation of the bone, and its frequency increases with age. Hip calcification can occur on both the right and left sides or only on one side. It is a chronic problem that develops over the years.
Who Gets Hip Calcification?
Obesity, working in severe physical conditions, advanced age, genetic factors, congenital hip dislocation (developmental hip dysplasia), traumas that damage the hip are risk factors for hip calcification. Even if these risk factors are not present, a person may develop hip osteoarthritis, so the cause cannot always be determined.
What are the Symptoms of Hip Calcification?
The most common symptom is hip pain. Pain may be felt in the buttocks, groin, thighs and knees. The pain usually has an insidious onset and worsens over time, but it can sometimes start suddenly. Its intensity increases with movement and walking. Pain may worsen in cold and rainy weather.
Another common symptom is stiffness and limitation of movement in the hip joint. Especially inward rotation and backward movement of the hip is restricted; On the other hand, the person feels more comfortable when the hip is bent and turned outward. Locking, snagging, rubbing, and friction sensations may occur in the joint.
If the hip calcification progresses too far, the spherical head of the femur may displace well above the normal joint; this gives the symptom of shortening of that leg. Hip arthritis impairs the person’s gait, first with pain, then with restriction of movement, and finally with shortening of the leg length; leads to lameness.
How Is Hip Calcification Diagnosed?
Complaints and physical examination provide basic information for diagnosis. X-ray film clearly shows calcification. In the anterior-posterior film of the hip, it can be seen that the joint space is narrowed, the parts of the bones close to the joint become stiff, and the head of the thigh bone is displaced.
The first treatment options are non-surgical methods. Losing weight is the first step in treatment for obese people. With the exercises, the muscles around the hips, especially the leg and trunk muscles are stretched and strengthened. Thus, joint movements can improve in mild and moderate calcifications, pain-free walking distance can increase and quality of life can increase. Regular exercise delays the need for prosthetic surgery. Walking aids such as walking sticks may be recommended to reduce the load on the joint. Pain relievers may be recommended for a short time.
Physical therapy methods can be useful in relieving pain and stiffness due to hip calcification. Deep heating methods such as hot or cold applications, electrotherapy methods, ultrasound can be used. In hip calcification, hyaluronic acid injections (viscosupplementation) can be made to supplement the joint fluid. In advanced disease, total hip joint replacement surgery may be required.