Hip pain is a common problem that most of us will experience. When most patients complain of hip pain they usually point to the side of their hip. The hip joint is actually located in your groin area, not the side of your hip. An inflamed hip joint creates pain in the groin, the front thigh, and where the buttock meets your leg. Not the side of your hip. The most common reason the side our your hip hurts is because you have an inflamed nerve in your lower back.
Osteoarthritis of the Hip
This page offers the answers to some of the most common questions related to pain occurring within the hip area, as well as the procedures used to diagnose and treat it effectively. Click on the questions to reveal the answers. Additional questions and answers about spine-related pain and our procedures are featured in the Ask the Doctors section.
How do you diagnose whether the pain I have on the side of my hip is coming from my hip joint or my back?
Using a continuous x-ray machine we place an anesthetic inside the hip joint. We will then assess the patient over the next ten to fifteen minutes. If they notice that their hip pain is gone we know that the pain is coming from the hip. If the patient still has pain we will use the continuous x-ray machine and place a local anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory on the nerve in the back that goes to the hip. If the hip pain goes away then we know that the hip pain is being “referred” from the back.
Yes, some people experience problems with both areas. A lot of patients find that when we identify the problem area, they actually have pain from both their hip and back areas. However, in most cases, the majority of the pain comes from one specific area—either the hip or back.
Yes. A significant number of our patients achieve good relief for a long time. You probably have had back problems for a long period of time now. The reason why you’re experiencing heightened pain now is probably due to inflammation in the area that is generating the pain. Once the inflammation is gone, the pain probably will not return for a long time.
In the U.S., most people over the age of 40 have problems that appear in an MRI, but in fact don’t report any pain. This tells us that you can live with a herniated disk in your spine without any pain.
If my MRI is negative, is it still possible that I can have an irritated nerve in my back that is causing the pain?
Yes. An MRI is an indirect image of the spine and does not always show everything. In addition, an MRI usually is taken while you are laying down. Nerves can shift when you change positions, especially if your pain is worse with when you stand or sit. The disk can leak part of its “jelly” center—or nucleus—around the nerves, which can cause significant chemical inflammation and pain. Our procedures can dramatically reduce the pain and inflammation resulting in increased circulation and healing.
No, the goal of our procedure is to decrease the inflammation. The relief from your pain is achieved when we reduce or eliminate the inflammation.
These procedures can be repeated up to 2 to 3 times within 12 months. If you require more procedures, then we usually would recommend surgery for your situation. The good news is that our procedure will provide your surgeon with information about the exact location of your pain, which will enable a better outcome for your surgery if required.
In many cases, it can prevent a patient from having to undergo an operation. Many people who have this treatment have sustained relief and studies confirm this.
However, if you still have pain and require surgery, our procedure will provide your surgeon with information about the exact location of your pain, which will enable a better outcome for your surgery if required.