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Mild to Moderate Hip Arthritis

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Last updated October 30, 2021

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What is hip arthritis?

Hip arthritis is inflammation of one or more of the joints in the hip. The most common form of arthritis is “wear-and-tear” of the hip joint. In this condition, the cartilage that covers the top part of the thigh bone and lines the hip socket wears away, and the bones get closer and closer together until they eventually touch. This is known as bone-on-bone arthritis.

Rarity: Very common

Symptoms

People with hip arthritis often describe a feeling similar to a pulled groin muscle that never gets better. Most hip joint problems cause pain in the groin or front of the hip area, not the side.

The pain may be dull and aching and worse with activity. It can be painful to turn over in bed at night or getting up after being seated for a while.

  • Hip pain
  • Difficulty walking or limping
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness in the joint (loss of motion)
  • Difficulty lifting the leg to get in and out of a car
  • Difficulty bending down to put on shoes and socks.

Hip arthritis can make it hard to do many everyday activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. It is a major cause of lost work time and a serious disability for many people.

Treatment

The goal of hip arthritis treatment is to relieve pain and maintain the function of the hip. Treatment includes physical therapy, regular use of anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs like ibuprofen), cortisone injections, and use of a cane.

When hip arthritis becomes too painful, many people opt for hip replacement surgery. In this procedure, the surgeon removes damaged cartilage and some bone from both the ball and socket parts of the joint. This is then replaced with metal, plastic, or ceramic parts.

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