Common Causes of Hip Pain

Hip pain is one of the most common causes of disability in young as well as older individuals. Commonest causes being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and post traumatic arthritis. It leads to immobility and also affects the daily activities.

Causes of Hip Pain

  • Osteoarthritis- Its termed as the disease of old age. Its degenerative wear and tear of the cartilage covering the bony ends forming a joint. Patient usually present with gradually increasing pain, stiffness and decreased functionality. The activities of daily living gradually decrease .In mild to moderate cases, physiotherapy and anti inflammatory agents suffice .In advanced osteoarthritis, surgey is the only option for a permanent cure.
  • Inflammatory arthritis. It is an autoimmune disorder affecting joints and synovial tissue. The inflammation damages the cartilage leading to stiffness and pain. In advance cases when the cartilage is completely damaged hip replacement is the only option. Different causes being rheumatoid, psoriasis, and gouty arthritis.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis. Any injury to the hip joint leading to fracture and cartilage damage predisposes to premature arthritis.
  • Avascular necrosis. The most common cause being idiopathic. Other causes being injury to the hip, chronic alcohol abuse, chronic steroid intake .All these lead to a reduction in blood supply to the femoral head. The lack of blood may cause the surface of the bone to collapse resulting in arthritis.
  • Congenital hip disease. Certain hip disorders present in childhood predisposes to secondary arthritis .Such disorders are called developmental dysplasias of the hip.

Other less common causes include:

  • Referred pain from the spine including sciatica, sacroilitis
  • Reactive synovitis
  • Bone marrow oedema syndromes which are self limiting
  • Infections such as septic arthritis and its sequel.
  • Bone cancers such as leukemia and metastatic bone cancer

When to see your doctor for hip pain?

  • Severe pain while walking
  • Unable to bear weight on the affected hip
  • Gradual decrease in activities of daily living due to hip pain.
  • Need for daily analgesics
  • Restricted range of motion of the hip
  • Any sign of infection