Hip Osteoarthritis
What is Osteoarthritis of the Hip?

What is Osteoarthritis of the Hip?

Osteoarthritis of the hip is a condition affecting the hip joint in which the cartilage gradually deteriorates. Hip wear and tear causes pain and makes movement more difficult.

The Hip Joint

The hip joint is made up of a dome-shaped bone (the ball) that moves freely around in a hollow-shaped bone (the socket). These bone sections are coated in cartilage, which creates a gliding surface to reduce friction in the joint. This allows your hip to move smoothly.

Osteoarthritis in the Hip

When you have osteoarthritis of the hip, this cartilage becomes thinner, weaker, and frayed. In some cases, it wears away completely. As a result, the bones in the joint now rub against each other. This can cause them to wear away and change shape. That, in turn, causes pain and reduces the mobility of the joint.

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Complaints and Symptoms of Hip Osteoarthritis

Hip osteoarthritis causes mostly pain and motion complaints. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the hip when getting up
  • Pain in the hip when straining the hip joint
  • Pain in the hip while resting
  • Swelling of the hip joint, which is not visible externally
  • Difficulty moving the hip or limited motion
  • Crunching noise when moving the hip
  • A constant pain in the groin, which sometimes radiates to the buttock, upper thigh, and knee
  • Pain at night


In the early stages, you mainly experience the hip pain after heavy exertion. As the osteoarthritis progresses, you may also experience pain during normal activities or while at rest.

If you want to know more about osteoarthritis of the hip, please visit orthoinfo.org or contact us.

Healthy hip
Osteoarthritic hip

Causes of hip osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis of the hip can have various causes. The most common are:

  • Aging of the joints
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Hip dysplasia, whereby the hip socket is too small compared to the ball portion of the joint.
  • Rheumatic disorders
  • Trauma or bone fractures in the past
  • Metabolic disorders
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