Hip pain facts
The hip joint is where the ball of the thigh bone (femur) joins the pelvis at a socket called the acetabulum. There is cartilage covering both the bone of the femur and the acetabulum of the pelvis in the hip joint. A joint lining tissue, called synovium, surrounds the hip joint. The synovium tissue produces fluid that lubricates the joint and provides nutrients to the cartilage of the joint. The ligaments around the hip joint attach the femur bone to the bony pelvis. There are a number of muscles and tendons that glide around the hip joint. Tiny fluid-filled sacs, called bursae, provide gliding surfaces for muscles and tendons around the hip joint. Major arteries and veins pass the front of the hip joint. The largest nerve of the body, the sciatic nerve, passes behind the hip joint. The hip joint is one the large joints of the body and serves in locomotion as the thigh moves forward and backward. The hip joint also rotates when sitting and with changes of direction when walking.
There are many causes of hip joint pain. Some hip pain is temporary, while other hip pain can be long-standing or chronic. Causes of hip pain include bursitis, inflammatory and noninflammatory arthritis, fracture, sprain, infectious arthritis (septic arthritis), avascular necrosis, Gaucher's disease, sciatica, muscle strain, iliotibial band syndrome (IT band syndrome), and hematoma.
Symptoms associated with hip pain depend on the cause. Symptoms include
The treatment of hip pain depends on the precise cause of the pain. Treatments can include rest, non-weight-bearing, cold application, and anti-inflammatory medications. For local inflammation, sometimes injection of cortisonemedication (steroids) is used to quiet the inflammation. If infection is present, antibiotics are used. Fractures can require treatment with surgical repairs, including pinning, plates and screws, and total joint replacement. For severe arthritis, total joint replacement is performed when possible.