If you have hip pain, here’s what a doctor will do to figure out what the cause is – and get you better.
My name is Dr. David Geier – orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine specialist, and anti-aging and regenerative medicine expert. I help you feel, look and perform your best, regardless of age or injury.
Hip pain is a common condition that can affect people of all ages. It can be caused by many different things, including arthritis, broken bones, muscle strains and more. If you have hip pain, your doctor will figure out what’s causing it by taking an x-ray and doing a physical exam to look for injuries or abnormalities in the area. They may order imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan to help determine the cause of your pain. Then they’ll recommend treatment based on their findings.
As part of the exam, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and mechanism of injury. She or he will also do a physical exam to look for any problems.
If the x-rays show that there is osteoarthritis in one or both hips, then treatment may depend on how severe it is. Most people who have mild osteoarthritis can be treated without surgery. Medications, physical therapy, and more can often help people return to what they love to do. Occasionally the arthritis and pain from it can be severe enough that the orthopedic surgeon suggests hip replacement.
X-rays can also show stress fractures of the femoral neck, which can be dangerous and often need long periods of nonweightbearing or even surgery.
The orthopedic surgeon might order imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is an imaging technique that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of structures within the body. The patient lies on a table that slides into the long tunnel of a scanner while they hold still for up to 20 minutes during each session. A contrast-enhanced MRI may be used if there is concern for a labral tear.
Depending on the likely diagnosis, the doctor or orthopedic surgeon might then recommend medications, such as anti-inflammatory medications – ibuprofen or naproxen, injections, or physical therapy.
Physical therapy can help with pain and improve function by focusing on strengthening exercises that target the muscles around your hips, pelvis and lower back (the core). You’ll learn ways to avoid movements that cause pain as well as ways to gently stretch those muscles so they don’t tighten up too much in response to being injured or overused from activities like running or walking long distances every day. A physical therapist will also teach you exercises that can improve strength in areas where there may be weakness due to injury or poor posture (such as sitting at a desk all day).
Surgery is usually only recommended if there is something torn or damaged. Surgery can be performed to repair a torn labrum, fix a fracture, and replace the damage caused by arthritis. If you have surgery for hip pain, you will likely need physical therapy after the procedure.
We are looking for 5 patients with hip pain who want to get significantly better in the next 30 days, without cortisone shots, physical therapy, or surgery. Click this link and enter the term ‘Interested’ in the description box to learn more.
This post is meant for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.