Osteoarthritis of the Hip

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Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis and affects millions of Americans. Data reveals that 9.2% of adults age 45 and older have osteoarthritis of the hip, while 27% demonstrate radiologic indications of the disease. Although common in older populations, osteoarthritis of the hip can happen to anyone.

At OrthoAspen we help patients of all ages and activity levels to find a solution to the symptoms of hip osteoarthritis. We’re committed to finding a treatment method that enables a safe and pain-free return to the active lifestyle you enjoy.

Causes & Symptoms

Osteoarthritis of the hip is most common in individuals age 50 and older. In a person with osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes damaged and worn out causing pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement in the affected joint. Although osteoarthritis may affect various joints including hips, knees, hands and spine, the hip joint is most commonly affected. Damaged articular cartilage in the lining of the hip joint is an indication that osteoarthritis is present.

While advanced age is a primary cause of osteoarthritis of the hip, it may also be a result of a previous hip injury or fracture. The condition can also be hereditary or triggered by other hip diseases such as avascular necrosis and other congenital or developmental hip diseases.

Common symptoms of osteoarthritis of the hip include:

  • Pain in the groin or thigh that radiates to the buttocks or knee
  • Pain that increases with vigorous activity
  • Hip stiffness in the joint
  • Difficulty walking or bending the knee
  • Sensations of locking or sticking when movement of the joint is attempted
  • Sounds of grinding or popping during movement (caused by loose fragments of cartilage and other tissue)
  • Disrupted full range of motion (causing limping)

Certain characteristic symptoms and diagnostic tests help OrthoAspen physicians to identify osteoarthritis of the hip. In addition to a physical examination, X-rays and other scans will be ordered, with the possible inclusion of blood tests to rule out other conditions which may cause similar symptoms.


There are several treatments and lifestyle modifications that can help ease the pain and symptoms associated with hip osteoarthritis.

Our OrthoAspen orthopedic experts will attempt to utilize conservative treatment methods whenever possible, which include:

  • Medications
    Medications such as NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors can help reduce pain and inflammation. Topical medications such as ointments can be applied over the skin where the pain is present.
  • Corticosteroid Injections
    Applied directly into the affected joint, corticosteroid injections help to address more severe pain.
  • Exercises
    Certain exercises help to keep joints flexible and improve muscle strength.
  • Heat/Cold Therapy
    Applying heat or cold packs to the joints provides temporary pain relief.
  • Lifestyle Modifications
    Weight control and temporary adjustments to activity levels can help avoid extra stress on the weight-bearing joints.

When conservative measures aren’t effective in addressing the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the hip, surgery will most likely be recommended.

Hip joint replacement surgery is considered as an option when the pain is so severe that it affects an individual’s ability to carry out normal activities.

Our OrthoAspen physicians are committed to finding the treatment method that will address your specific needs. It’s always our hope to find a solution that will return you to the active lifestyle you enjoy as quickly and safely as possible.

Click here to schedule a consultation, or call us at 970-544-1289.


Visit OrthoAspen in two convenient locations
Aspen Clinic
Aspen Valley Hospital
0401 Castle Creek Rd., Suite 2100,

Aspen, CO 81611
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400
Basalt Clinic
Midvalley Medical Center
1450 E. Valley Rd., Suite 201,

Basalt, CO 81621
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400