Jonathan Aarons M.D.

Tired of Chronic Pain?

Arthritis Pain of the Hip

Painful Hip
Arthritis of the Hip

Arthritis means inflammation of the joint.  Arthritis pain of the hip is a common painful condition.  The hip is composed of the femur ( leg bone), the acetabulum (a cup-like structure that holds the head of the femur) and the joint itself.  There are numerous types of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and systemic lupus erythematosis.  Osteoarthritis of the joint is the most common.  Bursitis, tendonitis and fractures of the hip can also cause similar pain.  The pain of osteoarthritis of the hip is a dull, aching pain.  The pain may radiate into the groin or buttock.  It is worse in the morning.  It is aggravated by activity and relieved by rest.  There may be a grating or popping sensation in the joint.  Patients with arthritis of the hip will decrease their activity over time, causing muscle wasting.  X-rays are useful to look for fractures or other bony causes of pain.  MRI of the hip joint is especially useful to identify the problem.  Blood work can be used to look for inflammatory causes of pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus.  The initial treatment of arthritis pain of the hip is conservative.  This includes rest, heat, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy.  Injection into the hip joint of a dilute solution of a local anesthetic and a steroid may give temporary relieve and allow physical therapy to be more effective.  In severe cases, surgery to replace the joint may be necessary.

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