Patient Education – The Hip
The hip joint is the junction between your body and your legs. You depend upon it to help you walk, sit and stand. We usually don’t think much about our hips except at they relate to our appearance unless we have pain in that area. There are numerous causes of pain in and around your hip. Not all of them relate to the joint itself.
|Anatomy of the hip - Click to enlarge|
- Disease in the hip joint itself – e.g., degenerative arthritis
- Inflammation of a bursa near the hip joint -- e.g., trochanteric bursitis
- Tightness and muscle spasm of a nearby supporting muscle – e.g., piriformis syndrome or an iliopsoas sprain.
- Trauma -- e.g., a fracture
- Rarely infection in the joint itself or nearby tissues
- Disease in the bone near the joint – e.g., aseptic necrosis, or a bone tumor
- Inflammation of the joint caused by a systemic disease – e.g., – juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
As we have all lived longer through better nutrition and medical care, we can quite literally wear out our hip joints. That process is called degenerative arthritis. So arthritis and bursitis are common causes of hip related pain in older people. If you want to rate yourself with regard to your risks of developing degenerative arthritis or just learn more about arthritis in its many forms, the Arthritis Foundation has a very informative website.
If you have chronic significant hip pain, many find significant relief from surgical replacement of the entire joint. This operation and the subsequent rehabilitation require a significant commitment from the patient and the surgical and rehabilitation teams, but have excellent outcomes. There are lots of web sites that can help you learn more about this but good places to start include: