Hip Arthritis - An Educational Guide

In this post, our focus will be on discussing hip arthritis.


The hip joint is a type of ball and socket joint where the ball is known as the femoral head and the socket is a part of the pelvis known as the acetabulum. The movement of the ball occurs within the socket to allow the leg to move in different positions. A healthy hip joint is surrounded by cartilages that allow smooth movement of the legs and hips. Any injury or other condition may affect this natural joint anatomy and make it difficult for the person to move. If the joint is badly damaged, partial or complete hip replacement surgery may be required. 

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Besides hip fractures, there could be multiple other conditions that could affect the hip joint and one of them is arthritis. In this post, our focus will be on discussing hip arthritis. 


What is Hip Arthritis?

Hip arthritis is a condition that wears away or completely damages the cartilage that surrounds the hip joint. This causes pain and stiffness while making the movement of the leg difficult and painful. Hip arthritis can be of different types but all result in the destruction of cartilage which eventually leads to joint damage. 


What Are the Causes of Hip Arthritis?

There could be multiple causes of hip arthritis but, osteoarthritis is one of the forms that occur due to age-related wear tear of the joint. This is why osteoarthritis is known to be more common in people over 60 years of age. There are certain factors that decide how severe arthritis will be along with its cause. The factors may include:

  • The anatomical structure of the hip joint
  • Weight of the person
  • Lifestyle 


While on the other hand, there are certain forms of arthritis that occur due to underlying health conditions. Such types of arthritis include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus


Aging is among the commonest causes of hip arthritis and along with this, a family history of such a condition also increases the risk. 


What Symptoms Are Shown by Hip Arthritis?

Some of the common symptoms associated with hip arthritis include:

  • Pain in the hip joint
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty to put weight on the affected hip
  • Reduced range of motion


How Is Hip Arthritis Treated?

The treatment of hip arthritis is based on its severity and its type. Mild to moderate cases can be managed with non-surgical methods whereas, severe cases may require surgery.


Non-Surgical Methods

  • Activity modification to curb pain 
  • Weight loss
  • Physical therapy
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Corticosteroid injections



Partial or total hip replacement surgery is the last option when the condition advances to a severe stage and cannot be managed with medication and activity modification. Besides hip replacement, other surgical procedures that may be performed include:

  • Hip arthroscopy
  • Joint fusion
  • Hip osteotomy 
  • Hip arthrotomy

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