When treating a diseased or damaged hip joint, we always focus on preserving the patient’s own joint. First we attempt to optimally train the joint, to support the cartilage, and to postpone wear and tear of the joint as long as possible with conservative care.
Although minor wear and tear is part of life, it makes a big difference whether arthritis (significant wear and tear of the cartilage) shows signs already at age 20, or if the first symptoms occur at age 80. At 80, practically everyone has hip arthritis – a normal situation.
When mechanical damage to the joint is present which will not heal itself, we recognize that the condition should be treated before the arthritis progresses so far that only hip joint replacement will improve the situation.
The following principle applies: The sooner appropriate treatment begins, the greater the probability that the therapy will be successful without joint replacement. Your own joint is the best!
We usually treat early damage with hip arthroscopy (described in a separate chapter). With this menthod, open surgery with the associated larger risks is then usually not necessary.