Symptoms and Signs of Hip Pain

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 9/16/2022

Doctor's Notes on Hip Pain

The hip joint is where the ball of the thigh bone (femur) joins the pelvis (hip bones) at a socket called the acetabulum. There are many causes of pain in the hip joint or hip area. Some of these are conditions related to the joint, while others involve the muscles, tendons, soft tissues, or other tissues in the area. Among the causes of hip pain include hip fracture, other trauma or injury, arthritis, sprain, sciatica, hematoma, muscle strain, and avascular necrosis.

Signs and symptoms associated with hip pain vary widely and depend on the exact condition that is causing the pain. Symptoms and signs can include

  • joint swelling,
  • redness,
  • warmth,
  • injury to the overlying skin,
  • bruising,
  • groin pain,
  • back pain, and
  • tenderness.

Other symptoms and signs can include

  • limping or gait disturbances,
  • an inability to move the hip joint, and
  • problems lying on the side of the painful hip.

What Is the Treatment for Hip Pain?

There are many causes of hip pain, and the treatment depends largely on the specific cause. Fractures of the hip may be treated with surgery, including hip replacement. There are many medications available to treat arthritic conditions. Medications to control pain and corticosteroids to reduce inflammation are appropriate for some conditions that cause hip pain. Other treatments can include physical therapy, massage, or exercise.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.