Hip Arthritis

What is it?

Hip arthritis is noted by inflammation or pain that occurs as the cartilage on the ends of the bones in the hip joint deteriorates.

Causes, symptoms and risk factors

There are several common forms of arthritis that affect the hip, including a degenerative condition (osteoarthritis) in which the cartilage in the joint breaks down causing the bones in the joint to rub against each other and an autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis) in which the body harms its own healthy cells and tissues. Arthritis in the hip also may be the result of injury.

Symptoms of hip arthritis are:

  • Pain in the hip that is worse in the morning but may lessen with activity
  • Inflammation
  • Stiffness
  • Limited motion of the hip joint

Risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Injury
  • Infection


A doctor will diagnose hip arthritis by examining the joint and its range of motion, reviewing symptoms and medical history, conducting X-rays to look for a breakdown of cartilage in the hip and checking joint fluid for evidence of inflammatory arthritis.


Treatment for hip arthritis includes:

  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications
  • Undergoing physical therapy
  • Reducing activity
  • Making lifestyle changes
  • Using devices—such as a walker or reacher—to reduce the stress on the joint

If these treatments don't reduce the pain in the hip, the doctor may recommend surgery. Surgical treatments of hip arthritis include arthroscopic procedures to clean debris and repair damaged cartilage, hip replacements and bone grafts.

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