Types of Arthritis That Affect the Hip

What is the most common type of arthritis that affects the hip?

The hip joint, one of the body’s ball-and-socket joints, is comprised of two basic parts. The “ball” part is the top or head of the femur and the “socket” is the location in the pelvis where they fit together with the help of the ligaments that stabilize and tie them together. Of the weight-bearing joints in the body, only the knee joint bears more weight than the hip joint.

Key to the hip joint’s ability to not only support the body but also allow for movement is the specialized lubricating fluid and the shock absorber type sacs found inside of the joint capsule. This fluid is produced by the synovium, which is a thin membrane that lines the interior of the capsule, and the sacs are called bursae, which comes from the Latin bursa mucosa, meaning “mucus pouch”. These fluid-filled sacs are what protects the bones, muscles and tendons from the friction created by the intense pressure and movement demands made on the joint.

Types of Hip Arthritis

Hip arthritis, which is inflammation in the hip joint, is a common condition that becomes more prevalent with age. There are many different types of arthritis that affect the hip joint. Some of the more common are:

Osteoarthritis – often referred to as wear and tear arthritis, this is the most common form of arthritis of the hip. It is classified as a degenerative type of joint disease due to the progressive disintegration of the cartilage within the joint. Once the cartilage has worn away to the point that it can no longer protect the bones within the joint from rubbing together, the level of pain significantly increases and movement becomes difficult.
Rheumatoid arthritis – this type of arthritis causes inflammation in the lining of the hip joint and is related to an immune system dysfunction rather than wear and tear. Besides the pain associated with the swelling, rheumatoid arthritis can eventually lead to deterioration of the joint.
Ankylosing spondylitis – less common than osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, this type actually begins in the sacroiliac joint, which is where the pelvis and spine meet, and the inflammation can be carried into the hip joint.
Systemic lupus erythematosus – another autoimmune disorder, when lupus affects the hip, the resulting inflammation can cause permanent damage. Systemic lupus erythematosus is technically not a form of arthritis but arthritis is one of its most common symptoms.
Psoriatic arthritis – as one would expect from the name, psoriatic arthritis is related to psoriasis. When present in the hip joint, it causes stiffness, inflammation and pain.

Hip Arthritis Symptoms

While there are many different types of hip arthritis, most share some or all of the same symptoms, including:

  • Pain experienced when doing activities that require any movement of the hip
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Stiffness in the hips
  • Limping while walking
  • Pain in the thigh, knee or groin area

There is, currently, no cure for arthritis. However, there are a variety of behavioral modifications and treatment options that may slow the progression, relieve symptoms and improve joint function. Seeking advice from your healthcare professional in the early stages will increase the odds for significant improvement.

If you have questions about hip arthritis or any other orthopedic concerns, the physicians and staff of Orthopaedic & Sports Associates of Long Island are very experienced in a wide range of orthopedic conditions and are committed to providing personalized care in a state-of-the-art facility. To schedule an appointment, or if you just have questions, please use our convenient online contact form by clicking here.

Posted in: Arthritis

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