Degenerative Joint Disease of the Hip (Osteoarthritis of the Hip)

Osteoarthritis of the hip occurs when the cartilage in the hip has worn down as a result of arthritis, trauma, infection, age, or autoimmune disorders. The lack of cartilage can result in pain, stiffness and an overall lack of mobility. The onset of osteoarthritis has no specific cause. Factors that may contribute to the condition include obesity, previous injuries to the hip, advancing age, genetics, and activities that involve the hip.

Osteoarthritis of the hip is diagnosed by a physical examination that will check to see how the hips line up and may include rotating, flexing, and extending the hips- followed by an X-ray exam. The X-ray exam will analyze the hips to see if the space in the hip joint has changed and if abnormalities such as bone spurs are present.

Symptoms of degenerative joint disease of the hip include pain that steadily increases with activity and is felt in the lower part of the body- specifically in the groin, buttocks, thigh or knee. The pain typically decreases while at rest. Other symptoms include tenderness around the joint, swelling, stiffness in the hip joint, and difficulty walking as a result of decreased range of motion in the hip.

Treatment options for osteoarthritis of the hip are centered on pain relief, improving mobility and slowing the progression of the disease. Typical treatments include corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, minimizing activities that cause the condition to flare up, weight management, and daily activity modification. Surgery may be required if nonsurgical treatment options are unresponsive. Surgical treatment options include hip resurfacing, total hip replacement surgery and osteotomy surgery. Rehabilitation and recovery time depends upon the type of surgery performed.