The hip is a ball and socket joint, with the head of the femur (the ball) sitting inside the acetabulum (the socket). It is this structure that makes the joint capable of performing such a wide range of movements, vital for walking, sitting and standing. Your hip is the part of your body that bears the most weight – in fact, during everyday activities like walking your hip joint is subjected to almost five times your body weight. For this reason, your hip joint can be prone to wear and tear injuries, trauma and degeneration as you age. Harley Street Specialist Hospital brings together a team of world-renowned hip consultants who are highly experienced in treating a wide range of conditions associated with the hip joint.
Common hip conditions
Hip pain can be debilitating, and severe pain may result in difficulties standing, walking, sitting and even sleeping. Sudden and severe pain is often the result of a traumatic injury, such as a fracture or dislocated hip, which can lead to extensive damage to the soft tissues around the joint. Pain that develops more gradually may be due to age-related osteoarthritis which is a degenerative disease that causes chronic (long-term) pain, stiffness and loss of mobility. Because our hip joint is essential for so many everyday activities, including standing, walking, sitting and climbing stairs, as well as many types of sport, hip conditions can have a significant impact on quality of life.
Private hip treatment at Harley Street Specialist Hospital
Harley Street Specialist Hospital is a leading team of world-renowned orthopaedic hip surgeons, offering the very latest approaches to diagnosis, treatment and prevention of hip joint problems. We aim to restore and preserve as much of your natural hip function as we can to enable you to live a full and active life. Wherever possible, we use hip arthroscopy which is minimally-invasive (keyhole) procedure that uses a tiny instrument called an arthroscope to examine the inside of the hip joint. Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat hip problems that might be causing pain or restricting movement. Our surgeons specialise in:
Arthritis / osteoarthritis
There are different types of hip arthritis. The most common is osteoarthritis which is caused by the breakdown of cartilage which protects the ends of the bones, preventing them from rubbing together. Symptoms of hip arthritis include pain, stiffness and loss of movement. Treatments include painkillers, lifestyle changes (eg. weight loss), steroid/hyaluronic acid injections, physio, regenerative medicine therapies such as platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections, arthroscopic surgery or in severe cases, hip replacement.
The bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion the areas between bones, muscles and tendons. They can become inflamed due to injury or overuse, a condition referred to as bursitis. Rest, anti-inflammatories, corticosteroid injections, cold compresses and physio are all beneficial initial treatments, but surgery to extract fluid from the bursa or remove it entirely may be necessary in severe cases.
Hip cartilage injuries
Damage to the articular cartilage can be due to wear and tear linked to ageing or trauma-related accidents or injuries. Age-related damage tends to occur in people over the age of 50, most commonly women, but sporting injuries can happen at any age. Rest, cold compresses, painkillers, anti-inflammatories and physio can all help, but more severe injuries may require either regenerative treatments or surgery, such as a hip arthroscopy, mosaicplasty (cartilage replacement) or hip replacement.
Hip dysplasia / congenital hip problems
This is a structural abnormality within the hip joint, which means the socket doesn’t fully cover the ball at the top of the femur. This can cause the hip joint to partially or completely dislocate which can damage the cartilage surrounding it (hip labral tear). For very young babies under six months, a soft brace may be applied to encourage the socket to mould properly. Older infants may need a full body cast and surgery may be necessary for children and adults.
These are normally caused by a fall or injury to the side of the hip and are most common in older people, especially women who are more likely to have osteoporosis. Hip fractures are breaks or cracks to the thigh bone close to the hip joint. Treatment could be either hip repair, where the hip bones are screwed in place while healing occurs, or partial or total hip replacement depending on the severity and type of the fracture.
Hip impingement (FAI)
Also called femoro acetabular impingement, this is where a problem with the ball or socket rim interferes with the smooth motion of the hip. It may be caused by repetitive injuries which damage the cartilage surrounding the hip socket. Anti-inflammatories, rest and physio may help with less severe cases, but minimally invasive surgery (arthroscopy) or hip replacement may be necessary if the initial non-operative treatments prove ineffective.
This occurs when you tear or stretch the ligaments around the hip. Such injuries are most common in sports that involve twisting or sudden changes of direction and hip sprains are also associated with running or falling onto the hip. A combination of painkillers, anti-inflammatories, ice-packs, rest and physio are normally effective, but a severe sprain may need surgery to repair the ruptured muscle.
Hip tendon/muscle/nerve injuries
The tendons, muscles and nerves in the hip can be subject to injuries and damage. Hip tendonitis, for example, is inflammation or irritation of the tendon connecting the bones to the muscles, and it is commonly linked to sports like running or cycling. Rest, painkillers, anti-inflammatories, cold compresses, and physio will help with most mild cases, but dry needling (release of muscle knots), Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections or keyhole surgery may be required if the condition does not improve.
Labral tears / degeneration
Hip labral tear/degeneration is damage to the ring of cartilage (the labrum) which surrounds the hip socket. It can be caused by sports like football or ice hockey, but may also be due to structural abnormalities of the hip joint. Painkillers can be perfectly effective on their own in mild cases, but anti-inflammatories, corticosteroid injections, physio or a hip arthroscopy may be required.
Harley Street Specialist Hospital has an experienced team of specialist hip consultants who can treat a wide range of conditions, from minor injuries to the most debilitating hip conditions.
Why choose Harley Street Specialist Hospital?
At Harley Street Specialist Hospital, you can expect:
- Our team of expert hip surgeons to offer rapid assessment and the latest treatments in comfortable central London surroundings, as well as video consultations from the comfort of your own home.
- Holistic care, where you are an equal partner in the creation of your individualised treatment plan.
- State of the art diagnostic imaging – you don’t need to go elsewhere as we have in house X-ray, ultrasound and image intensifiers.
- Day-case and outpatient investigations and surgical procedures in a modern clinical setting.
- No waiting lists and your treatment can take place at a convenient time for you.
We welcome patients with private medical insurance or those wishing to pay for their own treatment.