Osteoarthritis of the Hip (Hip Arthritis)

In this article:

Basics of hip arthritis

Many kinds of arthritis can affect the hip joint. The most common type of hip arthritis is osteoarthritis, which some people call "degenerative joint disease."

Osteoarthritis occurs when the joint surface cartilage (also called hyaline cartilage or articular cartilage) becomes worn away leaving the raw bone beneath exposed. The cartilage normally serves as a “pad” or a bearing in the joint. Under normal conditions, the cartilage bearing is slicker than a hockey puck on ice. When the bearing wears away, the result is a roughed joint surface that causes the pain and stiffness that people associate with osteoarthritis (See Figures 1-4).

Osteoarthritis of the hip is a serious condition. Osteoarthritis is the most common of the more than 100 kinds of arthritis and the hip joint is the second most commonly affected large joint in the body.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that can takes months to years to appear. While it is not “curable,” it most certainly is treatable using activity modifications, medications, and/or injections. If those interventions don’t work, hip replacement surgery often will relieve the pain associated with hip arthritis.

Osteoarthritis of the hip results in pain, stiffness, and joint deformity. The symptoms of osteoarthritis can affect one’s ability to walk, work, and enjoy life.

For most patients who have mild arthritis, pain can be managed with ice, rest, activity modifications, pills, or joint injections.

However, for patients with severe arthritis, the pain may not respond to those kinds of interventions. Patients with severe arthritis sometimes can benefit from total hip replacement surgery (See Figures 5 and 6).

Hip Arthritis Image Gallery

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