Sometimes called the ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, Osteoarthritis is the commonest cause of hip arthritis. Occasionally the arthritis is caused by inflammation (Inflammatory arthritis like Rheumatoid arthritis).
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but most affected are the weight bearing joints like the hip joint. Since Arthritis gradually worsens over time, early start of treatment can lessen the impact on life. Although there is no cure of Osteoarthritis, there are many options of treatment available that can help manage the symptoms and stay active.
There are certain factors which predispose to the development of Osteoarthritis:
- Advancing age
- Family history of osteoarthritis
- Previous injury/ fracture to the Hip joint or Pelvis
- Defective formation of the hip joint at birth, a condition known as developmental dysplasia of the hip or other childhood hip diseases like Perthe’s disease.
- Impingement of the hip due to defective hip formation or injuries to the Labrum
The Hip joint is a ‘ball and socket’ type of joint and is one of the largest in the body. The ‘socket’ is the acetabulum, part of the large Pelvis bone and ‘ball’ is the femoral head which is the upper end of the thigh bone. Smooth and slippery cartilage called the articular cartilage covers the bony surfaces of the ball and socket. This protects and cushions the bones, thus enabling them to move easily and freely. The joint is lined by a thin membrane-like lining called the synovium.
The Hip is surrounded by large and powerful muscles. While these muscles provide strength and stability to the joint, they can also mimic pain from the hip joint which lies underneath.