Symptoms of Arthritis in the Hip: Three Signs You May Not Recognize

Mitchell K. Freedman, DO February 4th, 2015

Although over 100 different forms of arthritis exist, osteoarthritis - or “wear and tear” joint degeneration - is the type most commonly experienced in the hip. Common symptoms of arthritis in the hip include pain, stiffness and swelling. The onset of osteoarthritis corresponds to aging and overuse, but ultimately, arthritis is a matter of genetics. 

Because the strength and durability of a person’s cartilage is determined by their DNA, genetic makeup plays a large part in whether or not a person will suffer from arthritis during their lifetime. Some people live to be over 100 years old and they pass away with healthy joints because their cartilage is fully in tact. For others, the degeneration of cartilage can result in painful arthritis as early as 50 years old (or in rare cases, even sooner).
As mentioned, the primary indicator of hip arthritis is pain. As bone-on-bone interaction occurs within the joint, long-term inflammation develops and stiffness and swelling are the result. However, when it comes to identifying the symptoms of hip arthritis, there are a few that often come as a surprise.
Did You Know?...
  1. Groin pain is a common symptom. You may think that hip arthritis would result directly in hip pain and many times, it does. However, patients with hip arthritis also often describe a dull, aching pain in the groin, outer thigh, buttocks or even in the knee. 
  2. “Catching” or “locking” of the joint is a sign of something wrong inside of the hip. As cartilage breaks down, small particles of it can become lodged in the joint, disrupting the joint’s ability to move smoothly with the gliding functionality that is characteristic of healthy joints.
  3. Deformity is a sign of severe arthritis. The hip is a weight-bearing joint and when it is put under pressure to perform without the protective cartilage it needs to do it’s job well, the the result over time can be damaging. Although most hip deformity is not visible to the naked eye (due to its location), an x-ray can reveal the extent of the problem.
Treating Hip Arthritis
Don’t wait for joint degeneration to take its toll. At the first signs of  symptoms of arthritis in the hip, make an appointment to see a hip specialist at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. Our physicians will strive to get you back to the normal, active lifestyle you love and miss. We know that chronic pain and loss of mobility lead to a lower quality of life. But you don’t have to settle for that life.
It’s time to recognize the symptoms, address and condition and regain your independence. Whether a more conservative treatment approach is recommended or your physician encourages you toward a surgical solution, the good news is that effective, safe and successful treatment options do exist, so you don’t have to live with the pain of hip arthritis forever.
An early diagnosis and effective treatment can protect the hip and provide the best possible patient outcome. The ultimate goals of any treatment plan, of course, are pain reduction and improved function.
Conservative Approaches to Care Include:
  • Weight loss
  • Activity modification
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Cortisone shots 
  • Supplementation (such as Glucosamine)
For more helpful information from real patients, who have suffered from hip arthritis and received care at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, read and watch the stories of our hip patient ambassadors

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