Nonsurgical Alternatives

If your condition is mild, your physician may opt for nonsurgical options to provide relief from hip pain. Each option below is much more conservative than a total hip replacement, and each one is noninvasive. Washington DC hip specialist Dr. Goyal will discuss these options with you and compare them against a hip replacement.

Lifestyle modification

In some cases, it may be enough to reduce the stress on your hips through 100% natural activities. These can include:

  • Weight loss
  • Standing for short periods
  • Walking for short periods
  • Use of a cane to decrease the weight on your painful hip

Exercise and physical therapy

Physical therapy is often a perfect option for patients suffering from hip pain. Aquatic therapy programs are available that effectively treat the effects of arthritis while removing the weight-bearing stress of the patient’s body weight. Additionally, mild exercise is very therapeutic for patients suffering from arthritis. Light weight training, riding a stationary bike, and walking can increase mobility and flexibility while improving hip strength.

Stretching for flexibility

Damaged hip joints become stiff both from the damage itself and for the natural reluctance to move the painful hip joint. Under supervision with a physical therapist certain exercises are very beneficial. Once patients have learned the correct way of doing the exercises, supervision may not be needed but it is important to do them correctly so the hip is not stressed.

Stretching will relieve stiffness and allow more range of motion in the hip. This will relieve some of the pain. Many people with hip pain use a pool to relieve the weight placed on the joint during exercise.

Strengthening the supporting muscles

Under used muscles do not protect the hip joint because they cannot stabilize and support the joint. Resistance training using bands or other equipment can be done to carefully build up the correct muscles that will support the hip. Do these exercises under supervision with a physical therapist to get the best result. Your therapist can design a specific program of strength and flexibility exercises which can keep you moving comfortably until it becomes necessary to fully replace the hip.

Anti-inflammatory medication

Because pain from arthritis is caused primarily by inflammation in the hip joint, the reduction of inflammation in this tissue can give the patient relief from pain and can delay the need for surgery. This treatment is done using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. While these can be quite effective in managing pain, your physician may prescribe corticosteroids for pain relief.


Corticosteroids, known more commonly as steroids, are artificial drugs that closely resemble a hormone naturally produced by your adrenal glands. These are to be distinguished from the type of steroids associated with athletes. These corticosteroids reduce inflammation by reducing the activity of the immune symptoms.

Outpatient hip joint adjustment

A treatment that can postpone the need for a full hip replacement by repairing joint damage is called hip arthroscopy. While this is a surgical procedure, it is done on an outpatient basis with minimal down time. For patients who are good candidates for this surgery, the effect is life changing.

In the past patients suffering from pain in the hips had to modify their life style and take pain relieving medication until a full hip replacement was necessary. With hip arthroscopy Dr. Goyal can now make a tiny incision to insert a scope which allows a full view of the hip structure so he can assess the damage. As a leading orthopedic surgeon serving patients in the highly populated Washington DC area, he has performed this mini surgery countless times.

Once the source of the pain is located, an additional tiny incision is made so that the damage can be repaired. If there are rough surfaces on the bone, they can be shaved down. Tears in the cuff surrounding the socket can be stitched so the joint becomes stable again. Cartilage can be repaired so the joint moves smoothly again. Additionally if there are any loose particles of bone in the joint, they can be removed.

While Dr. Goyal’s specialty is in surgical procedures to resolve orthopaedic issues, he is still a hip specialist. As a top hip specialist in Washington DC and Northern Virginia, he is trained to accurately diagnose and prescribe treatment for any hip-related ailment. If you are experiencing pain in the hip and would like to find out more, please call our office to set an appointment. We will be happy to help point you in the right direction.

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