Hip arthritis

What is hip arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in joints. Although there are many different types of arthritis, the types that most often affect the hip are:

  • Osteoarthritis, sometimes called “wear and tear” arthritis, which causes cartilage in the hip to wear away so that the bones rub against each other
  • Several types of inflammatory arthritis, which is due to an overactive immune system and causes inflammation in the hip

Symptoms

Pain and stiffness are the main symptoms of hip arthritis. This may include:

  • pain in one or both hips
  • pain in the buttocks, groin, or thigh
  • pain that is worse in the morning and gets better through the day
  • difficulty walking or bending
  • flare-ups of pain during physical activity
  • locking or sticking in the hip joint
  • a grinding sound when moving the hip joint

Causes and risk factors

The cause of arthritis is not known.

Anyone can get osteoarthritis, but it is more common among people over the age of 50 who:

  • have a family history of the disease
  • are overweight
  • or have had a previous hip injury

Inflammatory arthritis can affect people of any age.

Treatment options

There is no cure for hip arthritis, but you can manage the pain and stiffness.

  • Your doctor may recommend that you change your lifestyle by losing weight or avoiding activities that cause flare-ups of pain.
  • Medications can help reduce pain and slow the progress of the disease.
  • In some cases, your doctor may suggest surgery or a hip replacement.
Last reviewed: 
February 2018

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