Hip Osteoarthritis

The hip is a ball and socket joint formed between the pelvis and the thigh bones.  The ends of the bones are lined by a highly specialised articular cartilage which allows the joint surfaces to move smoothly and painlessly.  Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease which causes the articular cartilage to develop fissures and erosions so that the cartilage slowly disintegrates and wears away.  Eventually the underlying bone will fracture and collapse. 

The natural history of hip osteoarthritis is for the osteoarthritis to progress so the patient experiences pain, stiffness and limp of increasing severity.  The patient usually experiences progression in pain stiffness and limp.  As the joint surface and the bone collapses the patient may develop crepitus or bony grinding so that the pain and restriction of function can be severe.  We are fortunate to live in an age where advances in medical treatment provide highly successful treatment options for managing patients suffering the severe and disabling effect. 

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