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Anatomy of the Hip Joint

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that connects the head of the femur (thigh bone) to the acetabulum (cup-shaped socket on the pelvis). The two major types of arthritis affecting the hip are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Hip arthritis causes the cartilage between the bones to wear away, leading to pain, stiffness, and inflammation. In advanced stages, the joint may become deformed and lose its range of motion.

Causes and Risk Factors

Hip arthritis is primarily associated with aging but can also be influenced by various factors such as:

  • Previous injury: A hip injury or fracture can damage the joint and increase the risk of arthritis in later years.
  • Genetics: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing osteoarthritis.
  • Obesity: Being overweight puts extra stress on weight-bearing joints, including the hips, leading to wear and tear.
  • Overuse: Repeatedly performing high-impact activities such as running may also increase the risk of hip arthritis.


The most common symptom of hip arthritis is pain in the hip area, which can radiate to the groin, buttocks, or thigh. The pain may worsen during or after physical activity, leading to stiffness and reduced range of motion. Other symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Clicking or popping sensations
  • Difficulty walking
  • Changes in gait and walking patterns

Diagnostic Process

Diagnosing hip arthritis at Excel Health typically involves a physical examination, medical history review, and imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans. Your doctor may also conduct joint fluid analysis to determine the type of arthritis present and rule out other conditions with similar symptoms. If a diagnosis of hip arthritis is confirmed, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you.

Treatment Options

Conservative Care

Our first line of treatment for hip arthritis is conservative management, which may include:

  • Pain medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers may help alleviate mild to moderate hip pain.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can develop an exercise plan to increase joint flexibility and strengthen surrounding muscles.
  • Heat or ice therapy: Applying heat or ice to the affected area can help alleviate pain and inflammation.
  • Assistive braces: A hip brace can provide support and reduce pressure on the joint.
  • Lifestyle changes: Losing weight, modifying physical activities, and avoiding high-impact exercises may reduce stress on the hip joint.

Surgical Treatment

When conservative measures are insufficient, surgical options may be considered. Our skilled surgeons utilize advanced techniques to maximize function and minimize recovery time for patients with hip arthritis. Surgical treatment options may include hip resurfacing surgery and total hip replacement. If you are a candidate for surgery, our team will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan and provide comprehensive post-operative care.

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