Hip Arthritis

Hip arthritis is caused by wearing out of the joint surfaces. It is one of the most common medical conditions affecting over 25% of working age adults. The ball-and-socket accumulates damage and can cause pain in the hip, groin, thigh, and/or knee. The joint may become stiffness and immobile. It may become difficult to put on shoes and socks, go up and down stairs, and rise from low chairs. Short walks may become painful.

Osteoarthritis has no single specific cause, but there are certain factors that may make you more likely to develop the disease, including:

Normal aging
Family history of osteoarthritis
Previous injury to the hip joint
Improper formation of the hip joint from birth (developmental dysplasia of the hip)
Overuse due to lifestyle
Even if you do not have any of the risk factors listed above, you can still develop osteoarthritis.

You may experience one or more of these common symptoms of arthritis of the hip:

› Pain and stiffness in the joints
› Swelling in one or more joints
› Continuing or recurring pain or tenderness in a joint
› Difficulty using or moving a joint in a normal manner
› Warmth and redness in a joint
› Dull, aching pain in the groin, outer thigh or buttocks
› Pain that is worse in the morning and lessens with activity
› Increased pain and stiffness with vigorous activity
› Pain that limits your movements or makes walking difficult


This is the most common form of arthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis. This chronic disease damages and thins the hip joint’s articular cartilage, the smooth and glistening covering on the ends of your bones that enables your hip joint to glide smoothly. Osteoarthritis also narrows the space in which the hip joint moves. Osteoarthritis predominantly affects older people, but it also can occur in young people as a result of a hip injury or overuse.

Rheumatoid arthritis

This inflammatory disease attacks the lining of your hip joint (synovium). Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic autoimmune disease that can attack any joints in your body. A chronic disease, it is characterized by periods of flare-ups and remissions and can affect people of all ages. Rheumatoid arthritis of the hip can cause permanent destruction and deformity of the hip joint even before symptoms are severe.

Systemic lupus erythematosus

This autoimmune disease is one of the inflammatory arthritides, a group of diseases that causes inflammation of the body’s connective tissues.


This painful condition most often attacks small joints, but also can attack the hip. Gout is a result of a defect in body chemistry such as uric acid in the joint fluid.

How is hip arthritis diagnosed?

Dr. Danoff will start by asking you a series of questions to better understand your current bone and joint health and your history pertaining to your hip condition. In addition to a medical history, a thorough physical evaluation will be performed, during which he will assess your walking, range of motion, and strength around the hip. X-rays are important part of your evaluation to look at the status of your hip joint. X-rays of other relevant areas, such as the lumbar spine, may be ordered if necessary for an accurate diagnosis. MRI is useful when there is further question about the health of the bone, cartilage, labrum, or muscles around the hip.

How is hip arthritis treated?

Since hip arthritis is a progressive condition, the earlier that it is diagnosed and treated, the more likely it is that you can lessen its impact on your life. In some cases, hip arthritis pain can be well controlled with nonsurgical treatments. Dr. Danoff is committed to personalized care for all of his patients, using evidence-based methods and nonsurgical treatment options whenever possible. Initial treatment includes rest, avoidance of vigorous weight bearing activities, and the use of anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. Dr. Danoff advises avoidance of narcotic medications whenever possible as these medications are not effective in treating joint pain. Weight loss can be very helpful in some patients. Use of a cane or walker is appropriate in some patients to avoid risk of falls. With worsening symptoms a cane or a knee brace may be helpful. For more severe symptoms, an injection of cortisone into the joint is frequently advised and can be quite helpful.
Physical therapy or aquatherapy (pool-based physical therapy) can be very helpful to improve the lubricationa of the joints and strengthen the surrounding muscles, putting less stress on joints. It also helps with weight reduction and offers an improved sense of well-being. When conservative measures have been exhausted and are no longer helpful, and the arthritis has become disabling, surgery may be recommended When hip arthritis is severe or is not responding well to nonsurgical treatment options, a surgical procedure may be necessary.
In this case Dr. Danoff may recommend a total hip replacement. In this procedure, the hip joint is completely replaced with a new socket (acetabulum) and ball (femoral head)
If you believe you may be suffering from hip arthritis, it is important to seek advice from an orthopedic hip specialist to accurately diagnose and treat your condition. Dr. Danoff is a hip and knee specialist at Northwell Health. He sees patients at locations in Great Neck, New York and Garden City, New York. To learn more, call 516-723-2663 (Great Neck) or 516-396-7846 (Garden City) today to schedule an appointment. Or contact us here.