Osteoarthritis of the hip, also known as degenerative joint disease, occurs when inflammation and injury to the hip joint causes a breakdown of cartilage tissue. Most commonly present with age, this results in pain, swelling, and deformity.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis often develop slowly and worsen over time.

Aside from pain, osteoarthritis of the hip may cause stiffness, a loss of flexibility, a grating sensation you may hear or feel, and bone spurs around the affected joint.

Because the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip can be found in different locations, diagnosis can be difficult. Patients may feel pain in their groin, thigh, buttocks, or knee. At times, it can be a sharp, stabbing pain or it can be a dull ache. However, in almost every case, the patient’s hip is stiff.

The exact causes of osteoarthritis are still unknown, though several factors may lead to a diagnosis. Some of these include:

  • Wear and tear through the years
  • Over-active use of the hip
  • A family history of osteoarthritis
  • Previous injury or trauma to the hip joint
  • Over weight or obesity
  • Deformity of the hip joint at birth

Though, if none of these factors are present within the body, the patient may still develop osteoarthritis.


If a person is experiencing the symptoms or pains associated with osteoarthritis of the hip they should see a doctor. Initially, they will undergo a physical examination, typically followed by image tests that may include an x-ray or MRI.

Improving a patient’s mobility and lifestyle is the key goal in treating osteoarthritis of the hip. This involves increasing the function of the patient’s hip and controlling his/her pain.


Conservative treatment


Taking weight off of the hip

Physical therapy


Weight loss

Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or prescription pain medication

If conservative treatment doesn’t seem to help, then surgery may be recommended. The most common types of surgical treatment include Hip Resurfacing or Hip Replacement. Both procedures can be painful and debilitating.

As an alternative, one that is less painful and minimally invasive, some patients may benefit from adult stem cell therapy.