Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Hip Pain Treatments
Hip Pain Treatment at Fletcher Allen
Fletcher Allen offers the complete range of hip pain treatment options, from robotic surgery to minimally invasive surgery and even non-surgical techniques, where possible. We will partner with you to develop the treatment plan that works best for your condition.
Hip pain treatment options at Fletcher Allen include:
Early non-surgical treatments can help you avoid and reduce hip pain and disability. They can also slow progression of your condition.
An important first step for many patients is to modify your lifestyle. Taking steps to avoid high-impact activities can be helpful. For example:
- Switch from running or jumping exercises to swimming or cycling
- Minimize activities that aggravate the condition, such as climbing stairs
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Rest your hip from overuse
Physical Therapy and Activity
Our highly skilled physical therapists work closely with you to help increase your joint’s range of motion and strengthen muscles. Physical therapy and activity can reduce your hip pain and improve its functioning. Learn more about the Fletcher Allen Physical Therapy team.
Patients also benefit from using supportive devices such as a cane, crutches, walkers or splints, which may help relieve the stress and strain on your joints.
Medication can be a very effective option for treating hip pain. At Fletcher Allen, we offer the full range of medical therapies and the latest medicines available to treat your condition.
- Anti-inflammatory and Pain Medicines - Many patients use over-the-counter medications to help control pain and inflammation in the joints. These include:
- Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen to reduce inflammation
- Acetaminophen to control pain
- Cortisone injections - This treatment involves injecting powerful anti-inflammatory medicines into your joint to temporarily relieve pain and swelling.
- Viscosupplementation - A special fluid is injected into the joint to lubricate it and make it easier to move. The fluid is a concentrate of hyaluronic acid, made from a molecule found in the joints of the body. Viscosupplementation is most effective if you have early arthritis, with mild to moderate symptoms.
When non-surgical treatments are not successful, an orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery to treat your hip pain. As a university hospital, we are highly trained and experienced in the latest surgical techniques.
Fletcher Allen surgeons perform hip arthroscopy – a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure – to help them see inside your joint to diagnose and treat your disorder.
The procedure works by inserting a tiny camera through a small incision. The camera provides a clear view of the inside of the hip joint.
The view inside the joint is transmitted via fiber optic technology to a television monitor. Your orthopedic surgeon then inserts surgical instruments through other small incisions to perform more specific tasks, including:
- Loose body removal - Removing loose pieces of cartilage that float within the join space. These pieces can become caught wtihin the joint during movement.
- Synovial biopsy - Taking a sample of the synovial membrane. This is the tissue that lines a joint. The biopsy can help diagnose certain disorders or infections.
- Labral tear - Removing or repairing torn or loose portions of the labrum (the cartilage lining the hip socket.
Hip Restoration Surgery
In some cases, a patient's joint is in good enough condition that it does not need to be replaced. Instead, the bones in your hip can be repositioned to reduce your pain. At Fletcher Allen, we work with you to determine whether a joint restoration method may be the right fit. These methods include:
Osteotomy - This procedure involves cutting or realigning the bones of the hip. Goals of the procedure include:
- Shift weight from damaged cartilage area to a healthy area
- Restore hip function
- Reduce osteoarthritis pain
- Delay the need for joint replacement surgery
- Usually recommended for younger patients with early arthritis
Limited Resurfacing - This procedure may be recommended if you have broken off a piece of cartilage as a result of an injury. The affected area is sealed with a mushroom-shaped metal cap, placed over the damage in the cartilage.
Resurfacing Surgery - At Fletcher Allen, we offer the most advanced treatments available, including a relatively new procedure known as hip resurfacing. This treatment is an important option for patients who qualify, and can be an alternative to standard total hip replacement. It is most commonly performed on younger, active patients.
In performing the procedure, Fletcher Allen surgeons remove a small amount of bone from the hip's ball-and-socket joint. The remaining bone is covered with an all-metal implant. This preserves more of the natural bone structures and stability.
We use the most advanced hip resurfacing system called Birmingham Hip Resurfacing. This FDA-approved hip resurfacing technique uses a tough, low-friction resurfacing implant made from cobalt chrome.
- Low rate of dislocation following surgery
- Potential to last longer than traditional hip implants
Hip resurfacing, while gaining in popularity, is not appropriate for everyone. We will work with you to determine if this is the right method for you.
Hip Replacement Surgery
Fletcher Allen’s orthopedic surgeon team has more than 50 years of combined experience in total hip replacement. Our surgeons perform hundreds of surgeries each year. We provide both partial and total hip replacement.
Partial Hip Replacement - A partial hip replacement may be recommended if only one part of your hip is damaged or diseased. In most cases, surgeons will leave the hip socket intact, and replace the ball side (the top of the thighbone) of the joint.
Total Hip Replacement - Total hip replacement is among the most common and successful of orthopedic surgeries.
To perform total hip replacement, Fletcher Allen surgeons remove the top of your thighbone and replace your hip’s ball-and-socket mechanism with artificial implants. We use the latest technology available, including a wide range of implants designed to match your age, gender and lifestyle.
Increasingly, patients are opting for hip replacement surgery at younger ages. In today’s world, as Baby Boomers with active lifestyles navigate middle age, many want to continue their favorite sports and activities as long as possible.
Improvements in surgical techniques and technology have greatly increased the effectiveness of total hip replacement. In many cases, you are able to return to the activities you love with no pain. In fact, studies have shown that hip replacement has a greater impact on quality of life than many other types of surgery.
Minimally Invasive & Small Incision Hip Replacement Surgery - At Fletcher Allen, we offer the latest, minimally invasive techniques for total hip replacement. Using these methods can make a big difference in your life and offers many benefits for those who qualify.
- Often offers less discomfort
- Less blood loss
- Shorter hospitalization and rehabilitation
- Earlier return to work
- Smaller, less visible scar
- Reduced damage to muscles, tendons and the supporting structures of the joint
This type of surgery is most often recommended for patients who are young, healthy and motivated to have a quick recovery.
Hip Replacement Robotic Surgery - One of the latest developments in hip replacement is robotic surgery which uses computer-assisted navigation to position the total hip replacement’s ball and socket in the optimal position.
With this method, we can see an interactive display of the lines, angles and measurements needed to position the hip implant. The computer tracks the exact position of your hip joint and the surgical instruments at all times.
As a result, the Fletcher Allen orthopedic surgeon can align and orient your hip implant with the greatest possible precision. This access to real-time, computer-guided accuracy is a significant breakthrough in hip replacement surgery.
With these tools, we have the potential to achieve better outcomes such as:
- Lower risk of post-operative dislocation
- Improved joint stability
- Best possible range of motion
- Precise alignment and placement of the implant may also lead to extended lifespan for your implant and prevention of future corrective surgeries
For more information on Total Hip Replacement visit the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.
Hip Pain Diagnosis and Treatment
Learn more about Hip Pain Diagnosis and Treatment at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, VT.
Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call 802-847-2663.