At any age, hip pain can make it uncomfortable to perform everyday tasks such as walking, sitting, standing, or climbing stairs. Hip pain can also keep you from playing sports and leading an active lifestyle.
Your hip is the joint where your thighbone (femur) joins your pelvis. There are two main parts to the hip: a ball at the upper end of the femur, and a socket where the ball fits in the pelvis. This joining of the pelvis and femur is where your legs meet your upper body.
Frequent Causes of Hip Pain
- Hip Fractures: Hip fractures usually cause sudden and severe hip pain and they commonly result from trauma such as a fall or other type of accident. Hip fractures can be serious and may lead to other complications, and surgical repair is needed to restore a person’s mobility. Hip fractures are more frequent in the elderly and they are often linked to bone density loss and fragility.
- Arthritis: Chronic, arthritic pain of the hip sidelines many patients. The most common form of arthritis of the hip is osteoarthritis. As we grow older, usually after we reach middle age, osteoarthritis can affect many parts of the body including cartilage in the hip area. In addition, several types of inflammatory arthritis can affect people of all ages, typically beginning in early adulthood. Septic or infectious arthritis can also affect your hip bones. All these conditions can lead to severe and debilitating hip pain.
- Infections: Infections of the hip bones and joints are usually caused by bacteria or other microorganisms that enter the body from an open wound, for example, and travel through the bloodstream to your hip bone. Infections in other parts of your body, such as skin infections and urinary tract infections, can also move through your bloodstream and cause damage to your hips resulting in pain.
Sports injuries and repetitive use injuries can also sometimes lead to hip pain. Other, less frequent conditions that can create hip pain include hip labral tears, where the cartilage (labrum) at the joint is damaged. Another condition commonly known as hip dysplasia can cause the bones of the hip joint to become dislocated. Damage or displacement of the hip joint leads to pain.
Strains in the hip flexors (a group of muscles toward the front of the hip) can also be a source of hip pain. Even certain strains in other parts of the body, such as the hamstring or groin area, can make you feel hip pain. Other times, pain you feel in the hips can be caused by a problem in your back, instead of the hip itself.
Whatever is causing your hip pain, it is important to identify the cause and get treatment. Treatments for hip pain include lifestyle changes, rest, medicines, physical therapy, or surgery such as hip replacement.
Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bill Hefley is devoted to treating a broad range of conditions affecting the shoulder, hip, and knee. If you have any questions about hip pain, please contact us. Call (800) 336-2412 or use our online appointment request form.