Hip Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition which affects joints. The joints of the body have very smooth surfaces that allow easy, pain free movement.

The hip joint is composed of the top of the thigh bone (femur) and a socket in the pelvic bone. Where these bones contact each other there is a layer of very smooth articular cartilage lining.

Arthritis of the hip occurs when the smooth articular cartilage lining is damaged and worn away. Eventually the wearing away of the articular cartilage lining exposes the underlying bone.

This results in pain and stiffness in the hip. Patients experience this pain in the groin, the thigh or even the knee.


The most common cause of hip arthritis is hereditary (passed on in families), but there are many other causes for example, after earlier trauma or childhood hip conditions.


There are a range of treatments for hip arthritis. These include:

  • Simple measures (walking sticks, etc.)
  • Weight loss
  • Medication
  • Surgery

Usually hip arthritis can be treated with non operative treatment initially. If symptoms, especially pain, cannot be managed with other measures then surgery may be helpful.

Surgical procedures for Arthritis of the Hip

The options for surgery of the arthritic hip include:

  • Hip Replacement
  • Arthroscopy

Hip replacement is often performed for hip arthritis that does not respond to less invasive measures and usually gives the patient a good result.

Arthroscopy is not helpful for arthritis of the hip. On occasion, if there are other causes of hip pain such as labral tears hip arthroscopy may help.

More information on hip replacement can be found in the procedures area of this website.