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What Is Hip Osteoarthritis?

What Is Hip Osteoarthritis?

The hip is one of the most important joints in the body. Its primary purpose is to bear and support the weight of the body during physical activity.

A two-part “ball and socket” joint, the hip is the connection between the thighbone and the pelvis. The pelvic bone forms the socket, called the acetabulum, and the tip of the thighbone forms the ball, called the femoral head. Ligaments — bands of tissue — connect the ball to the socket. This creates the joint capsule. Lining the joint capsule is the synovium, a thin membrane that produces fluid to lubricate the hip joint. In addition, bursae, or fluid-filled sacs, cushion the muscle, tendons, and bones in the hip joint. The surfaces of the ball and socket are covered with cartilage, a slippery substance that cushions the bones and enables them to move smoothly.

In some cases, constant use of the hip causes the cartilage to degrade, which interrupts the smooth movement of the joint. This is called hip osteoarthritis. The condition worsens as deterioration increases. As a result of hip osteoarthritis, it becomes more difficult for the hip joint to function properly.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hip Osteoarthritis?

Generally, the cause of hip osteoarthritis is not known, but contributing factors include age, weight, a prior hip injury, extra stress on the joint, heredity, or structural problems with the hip, such as hip dysplasia.

Before you can be diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis, an orthopedic physician will need to review your medical history, conduct a physical examination, assess your overall health, and order imaging of the hip. There are four stages of hip osteoarthritis:

How Is Hip Osteoarthritis Treated?

While there is no cure for hip osteoarthritis, it is treatable. Early treatment can slow the progression of osteoarthritis, eliminate pain, and improve hip mobility.

Non-surgical treatment options include:

If non-invasive strategies fail to alleviate the problems caused by hip osteoarthritis, surgery may become an option. Typically, it will be recommended when the pain and stiffness from hip osteoarthritis limit mobility or cause disability.

Three types of surgery are available:

Complications are possible with any type of surgery. The most common complications of hip surgery are excessive bleeding, blood clots, infection, hip dislocation, varying limb length, and blood vessel or artery damage.

The recovery time for hip surgery depends on the overall health of the patient and the type of surgery performed. Typically, the patient will be encouraged to use the repaired hip as quickly as possible, utilizing an assistive device, such as a walker or cane.


Arthritis of the Hip, Washington University Physicians, -

Hip Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Arthritis of the Hip),: WebMD -

Osteoarthritis of the Hip,: OrthoInfo -

What Are the Treatment Options for Hip Arthritis?: Healthline -

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