What is hip arthritis?

Hip Arthritis

Hip arthritis: Overview

Arthritis, also called osteoarthritis, is a breakdown of the tissue (cartilage) that cushions your joints. Many people have some arthritis as they age. When the cartilage in your hip joints wears down, your hip bone rubs against the hip socket. This causes pain and stiffness.

Work with your doctor to find the right mix of treatments for your arthritis. There are things you can do at home to protect your hip joints, ease your pain, and help you stay active. But if your arthritis becomes so bad that you cannot walk, you may need surgery to replace the hip joint.

What are the symptoms of hip arthritis?

The symptoms include pain and stiffness in the hip joint. The pain may be felt deep in the front of the groin. Hip arthritis can make it harder to bend or get the full range of motion you used to have. Symptoms can be mild to severe.

X-Ray of Osteoarthritis of the Hip

X-ray of osteoarthritis of the hip

Courtesy of Intermountain Medical Imaging, Boise, Idaho

Figure 1 shows a normal hip.

Figure 2 shows osteoarthritis of the hip with loss of cartilage, narrowing of the joint space (the space between the bones), and bone spurs.

How can you care for yourself when you have hip arthritis?

Try to stay at a weight that's healthy for you. Talk with your doctor or physical therapist about exercises to help your hip. Walking is a good activity for many. Use a cane or walker if you need extra help. Avoid sitting in low chairs. Take pain medicines exactly as directed.

Osteoarthritis of the hip

Osteoarthritis of the hip.

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage that protects and cushions joints breaks down over time. Eventually, the bones, formerly separated by cartilage, rub against each other. This results in damage to the tissue and bone, which causes the painful joint symptoms of osteoarthritis.

The joint space in this hip joint is narrowed due to cartilage loss and bone spur formation.

What is hip arthritis?

Arthritis is a breakdown of the tissue (cartilage) that cushions your joints. It can cause pain and stiffness. Hip arthritis happens when the cartilage in your hip joint wears down. This can cause your hipbone to rub against the hip socket.

Hip arthritis: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have sudden swelling, warmth, or pain in any joint.
  • You have joint pain and a fever or rash.
  • You have such bad pain that you cannot use the joint.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You have mild joint symptoms that continue even with more than 6 weeks of care at home.
  • You do not get better as expected.
  • You have stomach pain or other problems with your medicine.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.