Osteoarthritis of the hip occurs as a result of the breakdown of cartilage in the joints over time. It commonly occurs in load-bearing joints, such as the hip, because of the normal wear and tear associated with the aging process, weight of the body, and pressure that is placed on the joint. Osteoarthritis of the hip is caused primarily as a result of aging, heredity, joint stress and bone deformities, traumatic injuries, and disease. It is more common in people, especially women, over the age of 50. People employed in occupations that require increased stress to the joint are at risk of developing osteoarthritis in the hip. Obesity has also been linked to osteoarthritis of the hip because of the increased stress placed on the hip joint.
Osteoarthritis of the hip is diagnosed through a physical examination. During the examination, the doctor will check for pain and tenderness when pressure is placed on the hip, the range of motion of the hip, problems with mobility, and grating sensations in the hip. The area surrounding the hip will also be checked for any signs or symptoms of injury. An MRI, CT or bone scan may be needed to accurately assess the condition of the hip and the extent of injury.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the hip include joint stiffness, pain, swelling and tenderness in the hip, inner thigh, buttocks, and knees. A person may also experience difficulty moving the hip, reduced range of motion, and grating sensations while walking. Treatment options for osteoarthritis of the hip include rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, prescription pain medications, and exercise. Other treatment options include weight loss and exercise. If those are not successful, hip replacement surgery or hip resurfacing surgery may be necessary.