Articular Cartilage Injuries
Articular cartilage is the material that covers the femur and hip socket joint. It acts as a cushion, reducing friction and allowing smooth movement between joint parts. Several factors contribute to wear and tear of the articular cartilage, including high impact sports, hip impingement and the natural aging process.
Often, articular cartilage injuries occur in conjunction with other hip injuries. Common symptoms associated with an articular cartilage injury are joint soreness, redness, swelling around the joint coupled with pain that is typically worse upon movement of the joint.
Trauma — Any type of direct physical injury to the joint (For example, sudden impact sustained in a fall or a sports injury.)
Overuse — Excessive use of a joint over a period of time with no time allowed for the body to heal.
Degeneration — Osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition may cause injury or damage to the articular cartilage.
An effective alternative could be regenerative medicine in which stem cells are harvested from the patient’s own body and are injected into the injury site. The patient will experience little-to-no down time with this approach.
The labrum is a crescent-shaped band of cartilage surrounding the hip joint. It acts as a cushion and provides stability to the hip joint. Hip labral tears occur when the labrum is injured.
Generally, there are no signs or symptoms associated with labral tears. However, some patients do experience pain in the hip and groin region, joint stiffness and a catching sensation.
If left untreated, labral tears in the hip may eventually lead to osteoarthritis in the hip joints and therefore it is preferable to address the problem in the early stages..
Trauma — Impact from an accident (work-related injury or contact sport) that results in damage or dislocation of the hip joint and eventually results in a hip labral tear.
Repetitive Motion — Sudden twisting or pivoting motion that leads to wearing down of the joint and ultimately results in a hip labral tear.
Birth Defect — Wear and tear of the joint that is accelerated in some people who are born with hip problems.
A successful alternative could be regenerative treatment wherein the patient’s own stem cells could provide therapeutic benefit.
Osteoarthritis of the Hip
Osteoarthritis of the hip, a degenerative joint disease, occurs because the cartilage in the hip joint gradually wears away over time due to injury and inflammation. With no cartilage present to act as a cushion, the joint bones rub together upon movement causing pain. It is most commonly present in people who are 50 years of age or older, though it may occur in younger people as well. It is usually accompanied with pain, swelling, and deformity.
Usually symptoms develop slowly and worsen over time. Most common symptoms include stiffness, a loss of flexibility, a grating sensation, and bone spurs around the affected joint (which is when the damaged bones start growing outwards to make up for the loss of cartilage).
It has been observed that in some cases, the patient may still develop osteoarthritis, even without these conditions.
The primary goal of treating this condition is to improve the patient’s mobility and his/her quality of life. This includes regulating patient’s level of pain thereby allowing for increased function of the patient’s hip. Some causes include:
- Wear and tear over the years
- Over-active use of the hip
- A family history of osteoarthritis
- Previous injury or trauma to the hip joint
- Being overweight or obesity
- Deformity of the hip joint at birth
One of the challenges is that diagnosis of the condition can be difficult since the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip can be found in different locations. Although in almost every case, the patient’s hip is stiff, patients can feel pain in their groin, thigh, buttocks, or knee. The degree of pain can vary from a sharp, stabbing pain to a dull ache.
Stem cell therapy, a minimally invasive and less painful procedure, has been shown to be effective in reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip.
AM I A CANDIDATE?