7 Answers About Arthritis Hip Pain

Mitchell K. Freedman, DO October 9th, 2015

Have you, or has someone you love, recently been diagnosed with arthritis hip pain? Whether the condition has been confirmed or you are still looking for a final diagnosis, you may have a number of questions about arthritis of the hips and its implications for your life. At Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, we understand that finding answers to these questions is an important stage in moving forward in the treatment of your condition. We have compiled the answers to the top seven questions about arthritis hip pain.  

1. What Is Hip Arthritis?  

Hip arthritis refers to the inflammation of the joint, a condition which leads to pain, swelling, stiffness, instability, and sometimes deformity.  
2. Is All Hip Arthritis The Same?
Arthritis hip pain is very common, especially in older patients. In fact, it takes over 500 different forms. The most common forms of hip arthritis include:
  • Osteoarthritis: “wear and tear arthritis” in which joint cartilage is worn over time

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: an immune response causing inflammation in the joint

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis: chronic inflammation of the sacroiliac joint 

  • Lupus: an autoimmune disorder causing joint inflammation and other symptoms

  • Psoriatic Arthritis: inflammation associated with the skin condition psoriasis

Although there are so many different forms, they typically manifest similar symptoms, including arthritis hip pain and stiffness.

3. What Are The Symptoms of Hip Arthritis?
The most common symptom of hip arthritis is pain which may cause difficulty walking.  This pain typically gets worse when the patient has not moved for a longer period of time, such as after sitting for an extended amount of time or when getting out of bed in the morning. Other symptoms include stiffness, increased joint pain after vigorous activities, and a dull ache in the outer thigh, knee, groin, or buttocks. 

4. How Is Hip Arthritis Diagnosed? 

To diagnose arthritis hip pain, your doctor will begin by reviewing your medical history. Additionally, your doctor will perform a physical examination and observe your walking pattern to see how the pain and stiffness may be affecting your mobility. In some cases, X-rays may be used to get a clearer picture of the hip joint condition

5. My Doctor Said It Wasn’t Hip Arthritis… What Might It Be?  

If you suspected that your hip pain and related symptoms were the result of arthritis, but your doctor has ruled out this condition, she or he may suggest evaluation for a number of others that often present similar symptoms. Conditions which are similar to hip arthritis include: 
  • Ovarian Cysts

  • Hernias

  • Trochanteric Bursitis

  • Spinal Stenosis

If you believe that you may have hip arthritis, it is very important to seek out a professional diagnosis so that conditions such as these are not overlooked, and so that you are able to find the best possible course of treatment.  

6. How Is Hip Arthritis Pain Treated? 

There are a number of different treatment options available for patients who are experiencing hip arthritis pain. Typically, treatment will begin with more conservative options, including weight loss, lifestyle modification, and physical therapy. However, if these options do not prove effective to reduce a patient’s pain and increase his or her mobility, there are other options available, which can include hip arthroscopy, revision hip surgery, or even total hip replacement.  

7. Where Can I Find Treatment?
If you are in need of treatment for hip arthritis pain, treatment is available throughout the Philadelphia and South Jersey areas. At Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, our team of hip specialists provide compassionate and expert care to patients like you everyday. From diagnosis through treatment, we will help you return to pain-free mobility and being able to do the things you love. For more information, please contact us today at 1.800.321.9999. 


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