Hip Osteoarthritis

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor


What is hip osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis occurs when inflammation and injury to a joint cause the cartilage tissue to break down. Cartilage is a firm, rubbery material that covers the ends of bones in normal joints.

In turn, that breakdown causes pain, swelling, and deformity. Although cartilage may undergo some repair when damaged, the body does not grow new cartilage after it is injured. Patients who have hip osteoarthritis sometimes experience problems walking. It is thought that diagnosis can be difficult at first.

That is because pain can appear in various locations, including the groin, thigh, buttocks, or knee. The pain can be stabbing and sharp or it can be a dull ache, and the hip is often stiff.

How common is hip osteoarthritis?

There are many types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common. Also known as degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis, osteoarthritis is more likely to develop as people get older.

However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of hip osteoarthritis?

Usually, the pain builds up slowly and get worse over time, although sudden onset is also possible. Pain and stiffness may worsen in the morning, or after sitting or resting for a while. Over time, painful signs may occur more frequently, including during rest or at night. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Pain in your groin or thigh that radiates to your buttocks or your knee
  • Pain that flares up with vigorous activity
  • Stiffness in the hip joint that makes it difficult to walk or bend
  • “Locking” or “sticking” of the joint, and a grinding noise (crepitus) during movement caused by loose fragments of cartilage and other tissue interfering with the smooth motion of the hip
  • Decreased range of motion in the hip that affects the ability to walk and may cause a limp
  • Increased joint pain with rainy weather

When should I see my doctor?

Early diagnosis and treatment can stop this condition from worsening and prevent another medical emergency, so talk to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent this serious condition.

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes hip osteoarthritis?

Hip osteoarthritis has no single specific cause, but there are certain causes that may make you more likely to develop this condition, comprising:

  • Increasing age
  • Family history of osteoarthritis
  • Previous injury to the hip joint
  • Obesity
  • Improper formation of the hip joint at birth, a condition known as developmental dysplasia of the hip

Risk factors

What increases my risk for hip osteoarthritis?

Some risk factors that may contribute include joint injury, increasing age, and being overweight.

Diagnosis & Treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.


How is hip osteoarthritis diagnosed?

There is no certain test for diagnosing hip osteoarthritis, but it is frequently diagnosed by an abnormal X-ray that shows characteristic features such as narrowing of the joint and spurring of the joint margins. If you are suspected to have this condition, your doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical examination. This will comprise of a check of how your hip is functioning and may uncover loss of motion.

 How is hip osteoarthritis treated?       

The main purpose of treating osteoarthritis of the hip is to improve the person’s mobility and their lifestyle. Part of this goal involves improving the function of the hip and monitoring the pain. Treatment plans can involve:

  • Rest and joint care
  • Use of a cane to take weight off the affected hip
  • Nondrug pain relief techniques to control pain
  • Losing excess weight
  • Exercise
  • Medications, including acetaminophen (Tylenol), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen (Advil), or a prescription pain medication
  • Surgery
  • Complementary and alternative therapies

Lifestyle changes & Home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage hip osteoarthritis?

There are some useful tips that help you prevent hip osteoarthritis. When beginning an exercise program, it’s best to start slowly. Some examples of low-impact, non-strenuous exercises include:

  • Walking: If you have balance problems, using a treadmill (with no incline) allows you to hold on.
  • Stationary bike: Using a stationary bike on an easy setting allows you to slowly build your strength. Using the bike in your home enables you to avoid traffic and stop when you feel strained.
  • Water exercises: Freestyle swimming supplies a moderate workout. Walking in water up to your waist lightens the load on your joints by as much as 50 percent. Performing water aerobics in water up to your chest decreases the impact on your joints by 75 percent.
  • Yoga: Regular yoga can assist the patient to improve the flexibility of the joints, strengthen muscles, and lessen pain.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: March 12, 2017 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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