Transient Osteoporosis of the Hip
Transient osteoporosis of the hip is a rare condition that causes bone loss temporarily in the upper part of the thighbone (femur). It is mostly found in young or middle aged men between the ages of 30 and 60, and women in their later stages of pregnancy or early postpartum period (following childbirth). It is characterized by abrupt onset of pain that increases with activity.
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint. A part of the pelvis bone known as the acetabulum forms the socket and the upper end of the femur, known as the femoral head, forms the ball. In patients with transient osteoporosis of the hip, the femoral head loses its density and strength and becomes more prone to breaking.
An exact cause is unknown. Some of the proposed causes include atypical mechanical stresses acting on the hip joint, hormonal abnormalities, and blockage of some of the small blood vessels surrounding the hip joint.
Symptoms may include:
- Unknown pain in the hip not triggered by any previous accident or injury
- Abrupt onset of pain in the anterior thigh, the side of the hip, groin, or buttocks
- Pain that increases with activities or weight bearing and decreases with rest
- Intense pain with extreme hip range of motion
- Gradually increasing pain that becomes disabling over a few weeks or months
- A prominent limp
Diagnosis of transient osteoporosis of the hip often begins with a history and physical examination. Your doctor may ask you questions related to your general health and any previous accidents or injuries. You will be asked to perform various range-of-motion exercises in order to replicate your pain. Most patients experience acute pain with weight bearing and active range of motion and minimal pain when the doctor moves the hip for them (passive range of motion). This is one of the indicators in the diagnosis of transient osteoporosis of the hip.
You will also be recommended to undergo imaging studies such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or nuclear scans in order to further document transient osteoporosis of your hip.
Most patients with transient osteoporosis of the hip are found to have bone marrow edema. Bone marrow edema is a condition where fluid builds up in the bone marrow (spongy material located in the hollow of the long bones) and the bone marrow becomes inflamed. MRI scans have been found to be particularly beneficial in documenting bone marrow edema and are one of the most practicable studies in the diagnosis of transient osteoporosis of the hip.
Transient osteoporosis of the hip resolves on its own and treatment involves preventing any damage to the weakened bones and minimizing the symptoms and discomfort. Treatment includes:
- Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or NSAIDs may be recommended to alleviate inflammation and pain
- Restricted weight bearing: You may be recommended to restrict or completely avoid putting weight on your hip joint. You may need to use walking aids such as crutches, cane, or a walker in order to limit the stresses on your hip bone
- Physical therapy: Your doctor may instruct you on special exercises to help strengthen the muscles supporting your hip. Water exercises have been found to be helpful as they ease movement and also relieve weight bearing
- Nutrition: Vitamin D and calcium have been found to be effective in healing and rebuilding of bones. Your doctor will recommend foods or supplement that can help you recover faster.
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Houston Hip Specialists
Advanced Orthopedics and sports medicine has numerous Board Certified/Eligible physicians who are thoroughly educated in the latest treatment techniques both surgical and conservative. They are well versed in advances in hip treatments including arthroscopic labral repairs, minimally invasive anterior hip replacement, total and partial hip replacements.
Drs Elbaz and Brooks now perform Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections for the treatment piriformis syndrome, greater trochanter bursitis, ischial bursitis, sacroiliac joint pain and hamstring tendonitis/tears. PRP stimulates a more rapid healing of tendon, ligament, muscle and bone.
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What Our Patients Are Saying
Thank you for the opportunity to express how pleased I am with the excellent care of Stacy A. Bacon, M.D. I have confidence in her ability to care for me as she successfully partially replaced a broken hip 10 years ago, 2007. I also want to compliment Cheryl who set up the appointment. She represents Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine very well.
It’s been over 8 years since Dr. Bacon replaced by right ankle. I still can’t thank her enough for the years of pain free walking I have done since! And I’m still going strong! I had numerous breaks in my ankle due an auto accident, repaired/set by a different doctor, after multiple surgery’s, I was still limping, in great pain every day. Then I found Dr. Bacon, now, no more pain, NONE, and no more limping after this ankle replacement. I rave about her constantly and would recommend her to anyone who has a foot or ankle issue
I had been in so much pain with my back for years. It got so bad that I knew I had to do something. I went to Dr Mohr for help. I was so afraid to have spine surgery as I had heard so many horror stories. He and his staff were very informative. I was amazed at the new technology in spinal surgery. December 8, 2016 I had rods and pins put in my back. I am so happy I did now. I am healing really fast and the pain is going away as my body heals. Thank you Dr Mohr for you expertise and sensitive nature. You were understanding about my fear and helped assure me so I could receive the help I needed. You are an excellent Doctor.
I have been a patient of Dr. Cubbage for several years. Each time of go there, he always presents a thorough plan of care. From ordering the most appropriate diagnostic tests to making sure you understand each step of his plan of care. He consistently instills confidence that you are the road to recovery.
Plus his assistant Karen is extremely knowledgeable and very caring!
I would highly recommend Dr. Cubbage if you are having any type of spinal issues. I have seen Dr. Cubbage several times over the last 3 years for lumbar pain and numbness in my left leg. Dr. Cubbage explained my diagnostic results in such a way that it was easy for me to understand. He patiently answered all my questions and explained my options. Fortunately, Dr. Cubbage has been able to manage my pain with conservative treatment but know surgery is inevitable. When that time comes, I would choose no other than Dr. Cubbage! And it’s a plus that he has such a kind and caring staff.
For the first time in many years and many knee operations on one leg I am without any knee pain. This is a result of a procedure performed by Dr. Patel.
I made an appointment to see Dr. Patel on the recommendation of Dr. Tanous following knee replacement and several months of continued pain. Dr. Patel explained the procedure to me and explained how we would proceed. The first procedure was to determine if I would be a good candidate for the second procedure. After the first procedure my pain was anywhere from 0 and 5. Dr. Patel explained to me at follow-up that I was not a good candidate for the second procedure due to my pain level being above the 0 to 3 level. After talking for a while I said “any relief would be better than the pain I had been having.” With this it was agreed that I would have the second procedure. It has now been 6 days since the procedure and I am without any pain.
I realize this is only a few days of not being able to sleep, with a pillow between my knee or under my leg at night. I know the pain may come back at anytime but until then it has been well worthwhile. I hope it will last 6 months, if not, I will have the procedure again after 6 months.
Thank you Drs. Patel and Tanous.
Outstanding Physicians. I’ve had two surgeries here, one on my foot with Dr. Bacon, and an extensive back surgery with Dr. Cubbage. I’m new to the area and my wife found me these surgeons. I have to say that each surgery I’ve had with these physicians have had excellent results. I was very pleased with my foot surgery and decided to see Dr. Cubbage for my back. Other surgeons I’ve seen regarding my back only gave me a 50/50 success rate. I have to say, the low back surgery with Dr. Cubbage was like a miracle. Right away, I noticed a difference and I’ve continued to improve rapidly. I’m almost eight weeks out and I haven’t felt this good in years. I’d like to thank Dr. Stacy Bacon for my foot surgery and Dr. Matthew Cubbage for my low back surgery. Without these drastic results, I’d not be walking today. Thank you all very much and I highly recommend your services. God bless you all.
Dr. David R. Mack replaced my right hip in June 2009, and my left in October 2010. I am already able to go places and do things on my own again. His excellent staff are very caring and helpful throughout the entire process, including recovery. The out-patient therapy is the best. I am walking very well now and am very pleased to have my life back. Thank you so much Dr. Mack and your great staff! Sincerely,
Dr. Bacon, I can never thank you enough for what you have done for me and for my daughter, Melia. In 2011, on the first anniversary of my surgery, my wife and I walked for two hours on Copacabana beach in Rio. I also completed a four hour nature walk over rough terrain in The Falklands and hiked to del Fin del Terre at the tip of South America. You are truly a great doctor, and I thank God every day for you and for Dr. Fogarty who recommended you for Melia’s surgery.
When I started, I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg and now I can do virtually anything. While I hope to not need future therapy, this is without a doubt the place I will return to in the future.