Normal Hip Anatomy
The thigh bone, femur, and the pelvis, acetabulum, join to form the hip joint. The hip joint is a "ball and socket" joint. The "ball" is the head of the femur, or thigh bone, and the "socket" is the cup shaped acetabulum.
The joint surface is covered by a smooth articular surface that allows pain free movement in the joint.
The cartilage cushions the joint and allows the bones to move on each other with smooth movements.
Hip pain, one of the common symptoms patients complain of, may not always be felt precisely over the hip joint. Pain may be felt in and around the hip joint and the cause for pain is multifactorial. The exact position of your hip pain suggests the probable cause or underlying condition causing pain. Pain felt inside the hip joint or your groin area is more likely to be because of the problems within the hip joint. Likewise, the pain felt on the outer side of your hip, upper thigh or buttocks may be a result of the problems of the muscles, ligaments, tendons and soft tissues surrounding the hip joint. However certain disease conditions affecting other parts of your body such as lower back or knees also cause hip pain.
How do you know that you have osteoarthritis of hip? The characteristic symptoms and diagnostic test helps in diagnosing the condition. You will experience severe pain confined to hip and thighs, morning stiffness and limited range of motion.
The hip may become painful as a result of injury or disease. Sometimes, surgery through an arthroscopic or open procedure is necessary to correct the underlying abnormality, but often conservative therapy can bring about significant relief of symptoms and postpone the need for surgery. Some of the common conservative measures include:
- Hot and cold application
- Use of splints, braces, canes
- Medication and injections
- Physical therapy
Other therapies such as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (high energy sound waves) and electrical stimulation may also be recommended to reduce symptoms and promote healing.