Hip Osteoarthritis

Hip Osteoarthritis

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint and has a protective cartilage cushion which helps to evenly distribute forces throughout the hip joint.

Most hip arthritis is caused by osteoarthritis, which is essentially progressive wear and tear. Other types of hip arthritis can occur as a result of inflammatory conditions like psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. They all cause pain and stiffness in the hip.

A history of heavy lifting or repetitive loading of the hip can also cause osteoarthritis. Being overweight is also a risk factor.

In a healthy hip, cartilage coats the surfaces of the ball and socket. It acts as a shock-absorber and lets the bones move smoothly over each other.

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage gradually degenerates, becoming thin, uneven and ragged. The fluid-filled joint space becomes narrower, so that the thigh bone starts to grind against the pelvis. Movement becomes uncomfortable, bony lumps or spurs form, and the joint can be permanently damaged.


Pain. This can be felt in the groin, down the outer thigh, or into the buttocks. It’s often worse in the morning, and may ease with movement, however vigorous or lengthy periods of exercise typically make things worse.

As hip arthritis develops there can be more hip stiffness and a reduced range of movement. It can be increasing difficult to walk and you may develop a limp. The pain often progresses over time, until the hip is painful at rest, interrupting social activities, work and sleep.

As part of normal life, your joints are exposed to a constant low level of damage. In most cases, your body repairs the damage itself and you do not experience any symptoms.

But in osteoarthritis, the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. Bony growths can develop, and the area can become red and swollen.


This is by clinical examination and usually followed with x-rays of the joint to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes an MRI may be required.


Non operative

  • Non operative (These are almost likely to be effective in the early stages of the condition)
  • Changing your activities (resting from exercise that brings on symptoms)
  • Painkillers
  • Medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Weight loss
  • Walking Aids, egthe use of a walking stick


When non-operative treatments do not provide relief, surgery can be considered. This is usually in the form of a hip replacement. Total hip replacement involves surgically removing the worn-down cartilage and neighbouring bone and replacing it with artificial components.

Mr Chowdhry will discuss all options and tailor a treatment plan according to the patients needs.