As one of the largest joints in the body, your hip joint supports your upper body as you walk, stand, run, bend and stretch. Sometimes called the “ball and socket” joint, your hip joint includes a rounded head of the femur (thighbone) that fits into the acetabulum (a socket in your pelvis).
The thin tissue that covers bone surfaces providing smooth, friction free movement is called cartilage. Cartilage is supposed to last a lifetime. But accidents, injury or degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis can damage cartilage causing significant swelling, pain and an impact on mobility.
Symptoms of hip osteoarthritis can include:
- Groin pain
- Thigh pain
- Buttock pain
- Limited ability to bend or straighten your hip
- A feeling of grinding or catching when you hip moves
- Weakened muscles
Treatment for hip osteoarthritis may include:
- Exercise and/or physiotherapy
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Walking aides
If conservative treatments for your hip osteoarthritis are not successful, your GP may order an x-ray. In some cases you may be referred to a specialist surgeon for hip arthroscopy or hip replacement.
Related tests and scans
Related treatments and procedures
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Derek went from unbearable pain that forced him to walk with a stick to playing squash in less than seven months. Explore the short history of Derek's hip with this interactive timeline.