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Hip Arthritis

Hip arthritis most commonly occurs in people over 50 years old. When the cushioning (cartilage) between the hip joint and the hip wears away, it causes these two areas to rub against each other. This bone on bone movement creates bone spurs around the hip joint, also called arthritis. Hip arthritis can present as:

  • Joint stiffness

  • Dull pain around the groin, front of the thigh or buttocks

  • Achy throbbing pain

  • Pain worse with activity and improved with rest

  • Pain with bearing weight on the hip and limping

  • Pain with moving the hip

  • Grinding sensation or noise when moving the hip

  • "Locking" of the hip joint

  • Swelling

  • Decreased movement in the hip joint

What type of risk factors increase your chances of hip arthritis?

  • Age

    • Hip arthritis usually occurs from normal every day wear and tear. Chances of getting hip arthritis increases with age 

  • Trauma

    • Car accidents, contract sports

  • Obesity

    • Excess weight can put significant pressure on the hip joints possibly resulting in accelerated arthritis to form 

  • Overuse injuries

    • Repetitive long term activities especially in professions that put a lot of strain on their hips can speed up the development of hip arthritis

How can our St. Louis pain doctors help diagnose your hip arthritis pain?

  • Thorough history and physical exam

  • Xray can show joint space narrowing and bony spurs around the hip joint

  • MRI can be done if surgery is being considered, otherwise an Xray is sufficient the majority of time

What are your treatment options?

At Saint Louis Spine and Joint Pain Specialists, our pain doctors are highly trained at evaluating hip arthritis and ensuring that an accurate diagnosis is made. Our main goal is to help you avoid or delay surgery as well as regain control of your pain. Treatments include:

  • Intra-articular hip injections

    • Significantly improve pain and swelling of the hip joint

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

  • Cane

    • Can help offload pressure on the arthritic hip

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

  • Physical therapy

    • Helps improve range of motion of the hip and strengthens muscles around the hip

  • Opioid medications​

    • Used in rare cases for severe arthritis. When used appropriately, studies have shown that the risk of addiction is extremely low

  • Skin creams, ointments and patches

  • Water or aquatic therapy


What can you do to decrease hip arthritis pain?

  • Do low impact exercises

    • Swimming

  • Weight loss to decrease impact on the knees

  • Strengthening muscles that take pressure off the hip joint

For more information or to discuss an appropriate treatment plan for your hip arthritis pain with one of our specialized pain management physicians, call Saint Louis Spine and Joint Pain Specialists today.

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