The hip is a ball-and-socket joint formed where the rounded end of the thighbone (femur) fits into a cup-shaped socket (acetabulum) in the pelvis. The acetabulum is ringed by strong fibrocartilage called the labrum that creates a tight seal and helps to provide stability to the joint. Ligaments surround the joint and hold it together. Tendons over the ligaments attach muscles in the buttocks, thighs, and pelvis to the bones. These muscles control hip movement. Fluid-filled sacs called bursae are located in strategic spots around the hip to provide cushioning and help the muscles move smoothly over the bone.
A hip fracture is a break in the upper quarter of the femur (thigh) bone. Hip fractures most commonly occur from a fall or a direct blow to the side of the hip. Some medical conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, or stress injuries can weaken the bone and make the hip more susceptible to breaking. The type of surgery used to treat a hip fracture is primarily based on the bones and soft tissues affected or the level of the fracture.
- Pain over the outer upper thigh or in the groin area
- Significant discomfort with flexing or rotating the hip
- Leg may appear shorter
If symptoms suggest a hip fracture, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment. Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as X-rays, an MRI, and a CT scan in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.
Hip ligaments strengthen and stabilize the hip joint. Ligament strains or ruptures occur if the joint is twisted or overstretched. Usually a “snapping” or “cracking” occurs when a ligament ruptures, which is followed by bruising, swelling and pain. Movement of the involved joint will usually be limited due to pain.
- Pain in injured area
- Limited range of motion
- Muscle weakness
If symptoms suggest a hip ligament tear, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment. Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as palpation, range of motion test, and X-rays in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.
The most common form of arthritis in the hip is osteoarthritis, a degenerative type of arthritis that occurs most often in people 50 years of age and older. Osteoarthritis damages protective cartilage over time. As the cartilage wears away and becomes frayed and rough, the protective joint space between the bones decreases, which can result in bone rubbing on bone and increased pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis can make it difficult to do everyday activities like bending over to tie a shoe, rising from a chair or taking a short walk.
- Pain in groin or thigh that radiates to buttocks or knee
- Pain that increases with vigorous activity
- Stiffness in the hip joint making it difficult to walk or bend
- Locking or sticking of the joint
- Grinding noise (crepitus) during movement
- Decreased range of motion
- Impaired ability to walk, may limp
- Increased joint pain with rainy weather
If symptoms suggest arthritis, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment. Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as range of motion, sensitivity tests, gait analysis, palpation, X-rays, an MRI, a CT scan, and bone scan in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.
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