Hip arthritis

Person with pain in hip

​​​​​​If you have hip pain, particularly in the groin or upper thigh, there's a good chance that arthritis is the cause. Hip arthritis can limit movement, flexibility and even mobility due to pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joint. 

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common disease of the hip joint, involving the cartilage, joint lining, ligaments, and bone. 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks tissue in the hip joint.

Hip arthritis symptoms 

Signs and symptoms of hip arthritis include: 

  • Joint pain 

  • Joint stiffness 

  • Limited movement or mobility 

  • Loss of range of motion in legs

  • Swelling 

  • Warmth in hip joints  

If the arthritis isn’t managed, the joint pain and swelling can also lead to muscle pain in the muscles surrounding the hip joint. 

Hip arthritis diagnosis 

At The Christ Hospital Health Network, we know that hip arthritis can impact your strength, flexibility and mobility. During your visit, your doctor reviews your health history and conducts a thorough exam of your hip joint to determine where there’s pain and inflammation. 

Diagnostic tests your doctor may order include:

  • X-ray—takes images of the hip bone and surrounding soft tissues. 

  • Computed Tomography scan (CT scan)—provides a 3D view of the hip and creates detailed pictures of the bones and soft tissue.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—provides a view inside the hip using a large magnet, radio waves and computer technology.

Hip arthritis treatment 

Treatment for hip arthritis is tailored specifically to each patient and may include: 

  • Activity modification—find low-impact activities to stay healthy and active, such as swimming and yoga. 

  • Cortisone injections—an anti-inflammatory steroid that is injected into the joint to reduce or relieve inflammation. 

  • Heat—use a heating pad to warm up the joints before engaging in daily activities or exercise.  

  • Ice—apply ice to the affected area (three times a day; 10-20 minutes at a time) to relieve soreness and inflammation. 

  • Medications—include non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. 

  • Physical therapy—exercises to strengthen and regain range of motion in the hip area.  

  • Surgery—depends on the severity of the problem and may include minimally invasive arthroscopy or hip joint replacement. Hip replacement surgery is more intensive with a longer recovery; however, it can effectively eliminate the pain by replacing your damaged hip joint with smooth-surfaced metal and plastic components.

Experts at The Christ Hospital Health Network are here to help manage your symptoms, reduce pain and treat joint damage caused by hip arthritis.