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.
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