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Hip and Pelvis Conditions Main Image

Hip Arthritis

Osteoarthritis of the hip
What is it?

Hip arthritis is a condition in which the smooth bearing surfaces of the hip become damaged. There are numerous causes of arthritis that affect the hip joint. These include infection, trauma, autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. The most common cause of hip arthritis is a mechanical mismatch between the two moving parts of the joint, the femoral head and the acetabulum. There is a spectrum of structural problems which can occur. The joint may be too unstable on one end of the spectrum as in dysplasia. This condition causes increased pressure on the rim of the acetabulum and the weight bearing surface of the femoral head resulting in degeneration of the articular cartilage. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the joint may be too constrained, also known as hip impingement. This results in degeneration of the articular cartilage on the rim of the acetabulum and at the junction of the head and neck portions of the femur. 


The symptoms of hip arthritis are variable and can present differently for individuals. The most common symptom is groin pain. The pain can also manifest as buttock pain or knee pain. It is worse after a period of immobility, requiring several steps to somewhat subside. The pain becomes worse during or after activity. Eventually the pain progresses and interferes with recreational and activities of daily living.

What are my options?

The symptoms of hip arthritis can be managed non-operatively by activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, and the use of a cane. As the symptoms progress, a steroid injection into the hip joint may be considered as a temporizing measure.

Ultimately the treatment for hip arthritis is total hip replacement.

Other Common Hip & Pelvis Conditions

Is surgery right for you?

Is surgery right for you?

Dr. Bellino believes in providing focused care of each individual patient with a wide range of treatment options to reach the highest potential for recovery. 

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