Hip arthritis (Osteoarthritis) is a common cause of hip pain and hip stiffness that usually manifests itself in middle age. Hip arthritis is characterised by progressive hip joint degeneration that may be due to abnormal stress and ageing.
Damage to the hip joint surfaces can be as a result of sporting trauma, but is more commonly due to repetitive stresses over a long period of time. This is usually associated with habitual overuse of a joint for occupational or sporting purposes. In most individuals, the signs and symptoms do not appear until middle age, but the disease process starts much earlier and the arthritis process can be accelerated following trauma to the hip joint.
Hip pain is the most universal symptom of hip arthritis. This hip pain can be felt around the groin, but may also radiate down the thigh and into the knee. As the arthritis worsens and muscle wasting occurs there is often a pronounced limp.
Activities which produce stress upon the hip should be avoided. Non-weight-bearing exercises such as swimming are recommended. Rehabilitation revolves around maintaining full range of movement in the hip and strengthening the compromised muscles.
Eventually hip replacement surgery may be required where there is severe hip pain.