Hip Calcification: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Hip Calcification: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Calcification in the hip is a condition that negatively affects the quality of life. This situation presents with symptoms in the form of pain in the weight bearing side, and it causes swelling and fatigue. This situation, which generally affects people with weight problems, the elderly and those with rheumatism, is also frequently seen after sports, heavy activities, wrong shoe selection and cleaning/house errands by placing weight on the knees. Hip calcification treatment and all the details are in our article… 

What is Hip Calcification? 

The hip joint is between the thigh and the pelvis. Calcification in this area refers to the damage of the cartilage tissue followed by damage to the accompanying bone. This is one of the musculoskeletal problems that middle-aged people often encounter. Previous traumas or congenital diseases predispose the person to hip calcification. These traumas or diseases negatively affect the load distribution of the joints and cause deterioration of joint mechanics. This condition, also called osteoarthritis in the medical literature, is the degeneration of the cartilage structure that forms the joints, the restriction of the movements of the joints, and the inability to fulfil the vital daily activities. 

Causes of Hip Calcification 

“What causes hip calcification?” It is one of the most frequently asked questions about the subject. The hip joint is a body-weight-bearing joint and therefore experiences frequent deformations. One of the most important causes of these deformations is obesity and age. However, this condition, which is usually seen over the age of 60, can also occur at an earlier age. The causes of hip calcification are as follows: 

  • Genetic factors 
  • Obesity 
  • Aging 
  • Rheumatic disorders 
  • Previous problems in the hip joint 

Hip Calcification Symptoms 

Hip joint calcification is more frequently seen in women, individuals with weight problems, individuals over 60 years of age, those who work under heavy conditions, those who stand for a long time and individuals who are genetically predisposed to calcification. The symptoms of the condition are most clearly manifested in the form of pain when placing weight on the problematic hip. For this reason, when the person puts pressure on the problematic foot during walking, he/she experiences severe pain and may limp. People with this problem may also experience a feeling of stiffness in their hips in the morning. Symptoms of hip calcification are as follows: 

  • Joint locking and limiting movement 
  • Experiencing a feeling of stiffness in the joint that makes it difficult to bend 
  • Lack of movement in the hip that causes limping and walking difficulties 

Hip Calcification Diagnosis 

In the diagnosis of this condition, methods such as direct graphics, two-way imaging of the joint and, if necessary, tomography and MR sections are used. However, detailed examination is extremely important in making the diagnosis. After this examination, an x-ray is required to confirm the situation. In some cases, blood tests and advanced imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and scintigraphy may be required for diagnosis. 

Hip Calcification Risk Factors 

There are some risk factors that contribute to this condition. These factors can be listed as follows: 

  • Severe traumas such as dislocation and fracture in the hip bones can cause calcification over time. 
  • Hip diseases in childhood 
  • As a result of the deterioration of the socket joint structure, compression occurs and this increases the risk of femoroacetabular impingement. 
  • Genetic factors 
  • Disrupted blood flow to the hip joint 

Hip Calcification Treatment 

The main purpose of the treatment is to improve the quality of life by increasing the ability of the person to move. However, there is no definitive treatment for this condition. In addition, there are methods that increase the mobility of the person and reduce their pain. In the treatment, it is aimed to eliminate the excess weight and inactivity, which are the conditions that cause the disease. Thus, by regulating the daily activities of the person, it is aimed to strengthen the muscle groups in the hip joint area and to strengthen the cartilage structure covering the hip joint. Medications may be recommended to help with the process.  

However, in the advanced stages of the problem, surgical approach is preferred. 

Hip Replacement Surgery 

Hip replacement surgery is performed under anaesthesia. The patient is put to sleep during the surgery. The surgical procedure takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. One day after the surgical procedure, the patient can stand up and walk and perform his basic functions. However, the patient stays in the hospital for 2-3 days. The sutures are removed 2 weeks after the patient is discharged. After the surgery, especially the muscles around the hip area should be strengthened and physical therapy should be emphasized. 

With this surgery, the damaged hip joint is removed and a prosthetic hip joint is placed. The prostheses used are fully compatible with the body and can be used for many years. However, when the treatment is delayed, both knees, back, waist and other parts of the hips may experience serious calcifications. In addition, when the calcified hip cannot perform its function, more burden is placed on other parts of the body. For this reason, it is extremely important that the treatment and the necessary treatment is done without losing time. 

Non-Surgical Hip Calcification Treatment Methods 

Non-surgical methods are also employed to treat the condition. These treatments, which are effective only in first-stage calcifications, are as follows: 

  • It is ensured that the person loses weight. Thus, the load on the hip joint decreases and the pain experienced in the region diminishes. 
  • A more active lifestyle is adapted. Making some changes in the person's daily life helps protect the hip joint and slow down the development of osteoarthritis. A more active lifestyle is among the changes that need to be considered. 
  • Physical therapy is also one of the non-surgical methods. The exercise plan and physical therapy program recommended by the doctor should be done regularly. In this way, the patient can strengthen the leg and hip muscles. 
  • The person is supported with assistive devices such as walkers, canes and crutches to decrease weight bearing on the affected area.  
  • Intra-articular injection applications are also among the non-surgical treatment methods. Within the scope of these injections, platelet-rich plasma, ozone, stem cell therapy, cortisone or hyaluronic acid are applied to the hip joint. In addition, injection contents such as stem cell application and platelet-rich plasma create a regenerative effect on the person and help the healing process of the damaged area. 
  • Drug treatment is another option in treatment of hip calcifications. If the pain experienced by the person has started to affect their routine life negatively, the doctor may recommend pharmacological treatment in order to reduce the severity of the pain experienced. These drugs should only be used with the supervision of a doctor. For this reason, it is extremely important to consult specialist knowledge in order to obtain the most accurate information about the treatment method and drug use. 
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