What is osteochondrosis of the hip joint?
Osteochondrosis often affects the vertebral joints. In this disease, cartilage and bone tissues are covered with bone salt growths (osteophytes). The formation of growths and overgrowth of bone tissue provokes inflammation, swelling and pain. Less common is osteochondrosis of other joints: hip, knee, shoulder or elbow. Let’s take a closer look at how the joint works and how osteochondrosis is formed.
The hip joint connects the pelvic bone and the head of the femur. The pelvic bone has a cavity called the acetabulum. A cartilaginous rim runs along its edge, and the cavity itself is covered with cartilaginous tissue.
The edge of the femur (head) is also covered with cartilage and is located inside the acetabulum. Joint fluid (called synovial fluid) is located between the cartilages of the head and the acetabulum. It is necessary to lubricate rubbing tissues.
Cartilage is a shock absorber for hard bone. Cartilage is able to change size when squeezed (walking, carrying heavy loads). In this case, synovial lubricating fluid is released from the cartilage tissue. It forms a protective film layer. The stronger the compressive load on the joint, the more fluid is released from it, the thicker the layer of the formed film.
The blood supply to the joint ensures the supply of nutrients to the cartilage and bone tissues. Violation of blood supply, congestion (due to inactivity), insufficient nutrition or age-related fluid loss cause the destruction of joint tissues. First of all, destructive changes are formed in the most loaded part of the joint – cartilage.
Cartilage degeneration is accompanied by a change in its structure, thinning, and destruction. Bone growths appear, inflammation forms. Cartilage ceases to perform shock-absorbing functions. This condition is called osteochondrosis of the hip joint.
- The initial stage of osteochondrosis is characterized by the appearance of a crunch in the hip joint, discomfort and rapid fatigue. An X-ray of a grade 1 joint shows slight growths along the edge of the pelvic cavity, as well as a narrowing of the gap between the cavity and the head of the bone. The marginal growths are the first degenerative changes in the joint.
- Dystrophic changes of the 2nd degree affect bone tissue. The head of the femur is deformed, the cartilage tissue becomes much thinner. There are formed osteophytes (bone growths) and an area of inflammation. The second degree is characterized by the appearance of pain during exertion (running, walking, carrying heavy loads), the pain can be given to the groin. Gait changes, lameness appears.
- Grade 3 represents the complete destruction of the cartilaginous tissue, the presence of separate cartilaginous remains between the tibia and the pelvic bone. In many places, cartilaginous tissue has been replaced by bone growths. Inflammation and well-visible edema are diagnosed. A person experiences constant pain: aching at rest and sharp when turning the joint. Self-movement of a person is difficult.
Whatever the sequence of development of complications in the disease, the symptoms of osteochondrosis are manifested in pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
The first painful sensations are periodic and appear only during physical exertion. In the future, with the development of osteochondrosis, the pain becomes constant.
Inflammation forms, the joint swells, its visible dimensions increase. In this case, the squeezed cells of the cartilaginous tissue are in an even more compressed state and become a source of pain even at rest.
The ways of osteochondrosis formation are not precisely clear. In general, doctors agree on two options:
- Theory number 1: first – the destruction of cartilage, their inflammation, then – the growth of osteophytes. Depletion of cartilage tissue leads to the appearance of microcracks (when exposed to loads). In the zones of destruction, inflammation occurs and tissue regeneration is activated. Inflamed tissues form marginal growths – osteophytes.
- Theory number 2: first the growth of osteophytes, then the formation of inflammation. The formation of osteophytes occurs with a sedentary lifestyle. Stagnation of internal articular fluids occurs. As a result, salts from the liquid precipitate. Growths (osteophytes) are formed, which deform and destroy the joint, causing pain and inflammation.
Osteochondrosis of the hip joint often gives off pain in the adjacent areas: groin, knee, lower back. The presence of inflammation is accompanied by tissue edema. The stronger the inflammation, the more and more noticeable the swelling of the hip joint.
The initial degree of the disease is rarely diagnosed, since it almost does not cause pain. More often, patients visit a doctor when changes in the joint have reached the second degree and cause pain when moving. Since bone overgrowth is present in grade II, inflammation and swelling are also present.
The third degree is diagnosed by sharp pain, a noticeable increase in the hip joint, and its swelling.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the hip joint is reduced to the following measures:
- Cartilage restoration.
- Restoration of blood supply.
- Restoration of the amount of intra-articular fluid.
- Adequate nutrition and supply of articular tissues with oxygen and nutrients. Removal from cells of their waste products.
- Removal of muscle spasm.
- Elimination of pain.
Consider what methods modern medicine uses to treat the disease.
Treatment with medications does not guarantee recovery. The use of pharmaceutical preparations helps prevent further development of the disease. What does the doctor prescribe for acute osteochondrosis of the joint?
- Novocaine blockade. Provides pain relief. Which is not always good. Some patients, feeling relief after an injection of novocaine, do not adhere to bed rest, thereby aggravating the course of the disease.
- Preparations for blood microcirculation and vascular circulation.
- Fortifying: vitamins, trace elements.
- Preparations for the restoration of cartilage tissue: chondroprotectors.
- Distracting agents for local external irritation (warming ointments with a burning effect).
Surgery (endoprosthetics) is an extreme measure. They resort to it when it is no longer possible to restore the joint. During the operation, the surgeon removes the destroyed tissue and replaces it with a prosthesis.
Instead of the worn-out part of the head of the tibia, a titanium pin with an artificial articular head is installed . The socket is lined with high-density polyethylene and a titanium head is inserted into it. With successful engraftment, the artificial joint lasts 15-18 years. At the end of its service life, the head pin becomes loose and requires replacement (re-operation).
Surgical intervention provides the leg with a temporary prosthesis, therefore it is a temporary treatment (for the next 15 years).
Folk remedies for osteochondrosis are used on a par with medications. They allow you to effectively counteract osteochondrosis and arthrosis of the hip joint. What is used in traditional medicine?
- Fortifying agents – various vitamin preparations: nettle, dandelion, celery. And also freshly squeezed juices: carrot, pumpkin, celery, cranberry, birch. Natural mineral complex – mumiyo and cedar resin.
- Anti-inflammatory herbs: chamomile, yarrow, calendula (brew, infuse or dry and grind into powder for internal use). Another anti-inflammatory agent: aloe with honey and lemon (internally and externally).
- Means for removing toxins: a decoction of oats with honey, a decoction of the bark of three trees (aspen, oak, birch).
- Often the cause of poor blood circulation in the legs and small pelvis is liver disease or helminthic infestations ( lambli ). Therefore, hepatic preparations bring noticeable relief: calendula, chamomile, burdock root, milk thistle, pumpkin seed, wormwood.
Traditional medicines can be used internally or externally, in the form of compresses. For wraps and warming compresses, the following compositions are used:
- saturated saline solution (salt disinfects and reduces inflammation);
- medical alcohol (100 ml), iodine (20 drops), warm water (150 ml) – these substances help to eliminate toxins and reduce inflammation;
- clay (no more than 3 hours, draws out toxic substances through the skin);
- aloe (strong anti-inflammatory);
- alcohol tinctures of antiseptics: propolis, cinquefoil, larkspur ;
- a mixture of medical bile and camphor oil.
Since one of the causes of osteochondrosis is inactivity, its treatment is impossible without gymnastics.
Exercise activates blood flow and creates conditions for recovery. It is necessary to perform gymnastics in a state of remission, then it will prevent the occurrence of exacerbations.
What exercises are included in exercise therapy for osteochondrosis of the hip joint?
- Raises the legs at the knee with a hold in the raised state for 5-10 seconds.
- Raises the legs above the floor from a lying position.
- Swing, swinging and shaking legs.
- Yoga exercises: “birch” and “plow”.
- Hanging and stretching.
- Walking and slow jogging (in remission).
Massages and manual therapy are also widely used and have a good effect. In addition to the usual rubbing and stroking (to enhance blood circulation), honey massages are used. To perform them, honey is applied to the joint area and lightly patted with the palms. After a few minutes, the palms begin to stick to the skin. Continue to massage with light pats. After 10-15 minutes, the honey remains are washed off or wiped off with a damp towel.
Another effective way to combat osteochondrosis is to visit a steam room.