Arthritis is one of the most common causes of pain in the hip. Arthritis is a progressive disorder, which means that it typically starts gradually and gets worse with time. The term arthritis literally means “inflammation of the joint.”
There are different types of arthritis that can affect the hip. The type of arthritis you have may affect your treatment options.
Osteoarthritis means “arthritis of the bone” and is the most common form of arthritis. It is often described as the result of wear and tear on the joints, which explains why it is more common in older than younger people.
The hip joint consists of the ball-shaped end of the thigh bone (femoral head) which fits into the hip socket (acetabular socket). The inside of this ball-and-socket joint is lined with smooth cartilage to help the joint move easily. If this smooth cartilage wears away, the remaining rough surfaces of the ball-and-socket grind against each other, causing pain. Over time, osteoarthritis can degenerate or permanently damage the joint.
Osteoarthritis of the hip (and other parts of the body) has been associated with the following:
Structural problems with the hip joint (hip dysplasia, femoroacetabular impingement)
Previous damage or injury to the hip
However, osteoarthritis may develop in people without these risk factors.