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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Dr. Patel has been a great Doctor for me. When I was referred to after discussion we decided to do injections in my back. The first two did not work so did two more in a different section of my back. These injections worked great. I’m now able to sleep at night and the numbness in my foot is almost gone. The tingling in my foot & leg is gone and I am very happy about that. I am extremely happy that Dr. Patel is my Doctor. She has been a good listener when I tell her where I hurt and talks to me about what she feels should be done. The final decision is always mine.
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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.