Can Hip Preservation Help With Chronic Hip Pain?

Hip pain for young adults is different than it is for older adults.

In patients over age 65, the cause is usually pretty clear—arthritis or a fracture from a fall. In these cases, hip replacement is often a viable treatment.

But hip pain for young adults is not always so black and white.

One of the most frustrating aspects of hip pain for young adults is not knowing the actual cause.

That’s in addition to living with daily discomfort, having to limit physical activities, or—worst-case scenario—being forced to abandon certain activities altogether.

The Penn Medicine Center for Hip Preservation, led by Atul Kamath, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon and Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Hip Preservation, aims to pinpoint the underlying cause of hip pain and repair the hip, rather than replace it.

Hip preservation techniques are often the best bet for treating young, otherwise healthy young adults, who cannot or prefer not to have hip replacement surgery.

A Snapshot of Hip and Hip Pain

Hands on Your Hips
Wrap your hand around where your pants pocket is. This makes a “C” as you cup your hands along your side. If you can imagine your fingers touching your thumb deep within your groin, you’ve identified where the hip ball and socket really are. Because the hip is a deeply located joint, hip pain is often confused with a hernia, groin pain, or pelvic pain.

Whenever you use your legs, you’re moving the hip—walking, kicking, climbing stairs, squatting. When you bend down or stand up, you’re using your hips. That’s why even basic activities can eventually become debilitating for people with chronic hip pain.

Inside the Hip
Make a fist. Now, wrap the other hand around it. That’s similar to how the top of the thighbone (the femoral head) fits into the pelvis bone to form the “ball-and-socket” joint of the hip.


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