Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis that originates in the immune system. This type of autoimmune arthritis can cause significant damage to your hips, other joints and even other structures in your body. Concerning a hip replacement, Fox Valley residents might need to consider this option if other treatment methods fail to help them. Learning more about this condition is important because you need to understand how this condition can affect you if you have it.

Understand the Possible Symptoms

When you have rheumatoid arthritis affecting your hips, it can cause this joint to become warm, tender and swollen. You might notice that you have trouble walking, especially if you have been inactive for a prolonged period of time or in the morning when you go to get out of bed. Since this is an autoimmune disease, it can affect your entire body too. Other symptoms that might occur that are more systemic can include fever, fatigue and weight loss.

In most cases, this disease will start off by affecting the smaller joints in your body. Because of this, your hands and fingers are usually the first affected, then your feet and toes. As it progresses, it starts to attack the larger joints, such as your hips joints. 

When examining people with this disease, it should be noted that many patients experience an array of symptoms, including in their joint symptoms. In fact, 40 percent of patients experience symptoms outside of joint symptoms. This condition can affect many areas of the body, such as the skin, lungs, kidneys, nerve tissue, blood vessels, eyes, heart, salivary glands and bone marrow. 

Exploring the Different Treatment Options

Your doctor will likely start you off on different medications to try and control your hip pain and other symptoms. The following are commonly prescribed to treat this condition:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
  • Steroids
  • Biologic agents 

Therapy is common with this condition and might include a mixture of occupational and physical therapy. These work to help keep you active, aid you in your daily tasks and can help to preserve your mobility.

When the above methods are not effective, your doctor might recommend a number of surgical procedures to help restore your well-being as much as possible. The following surgical procedures are ones that your doctor might discuss with you:

  • Tendon repair if there is tendon damage
  • Synovectomy to remove excess fluid
  • Total joint replacement for severely damaged joints
  • Joint fusion to realign or stabilize damaged joints 

As you can see, rheumatoid arthritis is both debilitating and complex. There are times when it progresses so much that a person will require a hip replacement to regain their mobility. 

Getting Started

Reach out today to get the care you need by requesting a consultation with one of the hip specialists at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute (OSI). Our physicians perform anterior and posterior hip replacement procedures. Find out what approach will work best for you. Robotic surgery is another option available at OSI, as we are Northeast Wisconsin's leading provider of Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery for Hips & Knees. Please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online.

The Orthopedic & Sports Institute has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location serving the Green Bay area, inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere.

OSI offers a Walk-In Clinic at its Appleton location for new, acute orthopedic injuries.

OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.