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Osteoarthritis of the hip affects the hip joint, between the pelvis and the femur. After the knee, it is the most common location for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the cartilage, responsible for a reduction in the joint surface between two bones. Osteoarthritis of the hip can be primitive and usually appears between the ages of 55 and 60, or secondary to a hip abnormality. In the latter case, the disorder manifests itself earlier and its evolution is generally faster.


Osteoarthritis of the hip is characterized by the following symptoms:
  • Localized pain in the groin that can be projected to the thigh;
  • pain that is triggered by movement and relieved by rest;
  • A feeling of painful stiffness in the morning, disappearing after a few minutes;
  • Walking increases the pain and movement capabilities are gradually reduced.


The diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the hip is based on the description of pain by the patient, and the examination of the hip will strengthen the hypothesis. Upon examination, mobilizations are perceived to be painful and movements are reduced in comparison to the other hip. Confirmation will be provided by a radiograph of the pelvis and hip. It will compare the articular surfaces of both hips and show a narrowing of the space between the upper part of the femur and the acetabulum of the pelvis, in which the femoral head articulates.


When the diagnosis is made with certainty, medical treatment is primarily aimed at reducing the pain and relieving the patient. It also consists of reducing the risk of painful movements, with the help of a cane, or avoiding certain movements in a reasonable way. Analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs in times of painful flare are useful, as well as rehabilitation with a physiotherapist. The surgical management of a defect can slow or prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. One can also, when it becomes impossible to control the pain and in cases of advanced osteoarthritis, consider a total hip replacement.


Malformations of the hip or obesity are factors favoring the occurrence of osteoarthritis. The defect cannot be prevented, but it can be monitored and prevented by surgical treatment. Weight control also prevents the onset of osteoarthritis.

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