Degenerative and rheumatoid arthritis of the hip joint are very common and are characterized by a degradation, or wearing away, of the bearing surfaces on both the femoral head (the 'ball' of the hip joint) and the acetabulum (the 'socket' of the hip joint). Arthritis typically causes pain, often felt in the groin, which tends to be worse with weight-bearing and changing positions. It can also cause stiffness and be severe enough to greatly limit one's activity, making it hard or impossible to get through daily tasks, work, or recreational activities. Losing weight, taking medications, doing gentle exercises to increase strength and flexibilty, and using support like a cane can help, but the underlying processes are irreversible. For people who find the pain and limitations intolerable or unacceptable, hip replacment operations are often a good solution. For more information on hip arthritis, please click here.
Bursitis of the hip is common and causes pain over the lateral (outside) part of the hip over the greater trochanter (paint of the hip). The bursitis may arise due to overuse or a fall on the hip and often for no identifiable reason. The pain can be severe when getting up from a chair or at night when lying on the affected side. Treatment usually starts conservatively with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and stretching. For more persistent cases, physical therapy or cortisone shots may be recommended. Rarely is surgery needed to get rid of the pain. For more information on hip bursitis, please click here.