Hip pain is mostly felt around the groin but can also be felt around the side of the hip, buttock and front of the thigh.
Hip pain is mostly felt around the groin but can also be felt around the side of the hip, buttock and front of the thigh. Occasionally the hip pain can be felt in the knee without any discomfort around the hip. The pain can be associated with walking or activity but can sometimes be severe enough to be present at rest or even disturb sleep.
The pain/discomfort can be accompanied by difficulty with walking, climbing stairs, tying shoelaces, or leaning forwards when sitting. The pain can be associated with a limp, increasing stiffness or even falls.
There are several causes of pain in and around the Hip:
- Arthritis: commonest cause of pain. It can be due to wear and tear (Osteoarthritis) or due to inflammation (conditions like Rheumatoid arthritis)
- Muscle or ligament Sprain/strain/tear or inflammation
- Bursitis: There are several pockets of fluid around the bony prominences of the hip joint, called the ‘bursae’; inflammation of these can cause pain
- Labral tear: pain due to tear of the soft tissue cartilage portion of the hip which helps in stabilising the joint.
- Pain from sources outside the Hip: Occasionally pain can be ‘referred’ from other sources, most commonly from the back; occasionally groin hernias and enlarged lymph glands can mimic pain in the hip.
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.
Since there are many causes of hip pain, some originating from the hip and others from external sources, it is important to diagnose the underlying problem and find out the correct source of the symptoms. Unless the cause of the symptoms is accurately diagnosed, it is not possible to treat the cause. It is therefore important to seek the help of an Expert to diagnose, investigate and treat these problems of the Hip.