What causes hip pain?

Hip pain is a very common reason for people to see me in my orthopedic practice. Unfortunately, hip pain can affect people of all ages, from the high school volleyball player to the 76 year old bridge player. Fortunately, many causes of hip pain are treated non-operatively.

Below are the top 5 causes of hip pain seen in my practice:

  1. Hip Arthritis

    This usually affects patients who are more mature. Although I have seen patients in there 30’s with hip arthritis, it mainly effects people who are over 50. Pain from hip arthritis usually presents as pain in the groin. Patients also complain of pain radiating down the front of their thigh towards their knee. With hip arthritis people also have loss of motion in there hip, especially rotation. Patient with hip arthritis have trouble getting up from a chair or climbing stairs.

  2. Hip Bursitis

    This is also known at trochanteric bursitis. Patients with hip bursitis complain of pain on the side of their hip. It frequently hurts to touch. Sometimes patients have pain with laying on the effected side. Or lifting the effected leg out to the side. They also complaint of hip pain when walking on uneven surfaces.

  3. Muscle pull

    Many athletes, whether they are high school, collegiate, recreational, or professional have suffered a muscle strain occurring in the hip region. Most commonly these occur to the hip flexors, and adductors. A hip adductor strain is better known as a “pulled groin” This is the muscle that helps to bring your leg in towards the midline.  The other common muscle pulled is the “hip flexor.” Contrary to popular belief there is no muscle with the name “hip flexor.” However there are muscles, such as the Psoas, and the Sartorious which do aid in hip flexion. These muscle can be strained in a “hip flexor injury”

  4. Hip Labrum Tear

    Due to the invention of hip arthroscopy and high resolution MRI, we are now better able to understand new pathologies of the hip. The labrum is a rim of cartilage which helps to deepen the hip socket. Injury to this structure can cause hip pain. The pain caused by a labrum tear is usually in the groin area, and can wrap around the side of the hip. Patients with labrum tears usually have pain with deep hip flexion and rotation.

  5. Femoral Acetabular Impingement (FAI)

    The hip is a ball in socket type joint. FAI occurs when a patient has too much bone on wither the ball side or the socket side, or in some cases both. This usually due to how a patients hips are formed. Too much bone on either side of this joint can cause impingent which leads to pain.

If you suffer from hip pain, it is important that you seek consultation from an orthopedic surgeon.

Dr. Michael Gott is a Westchester orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in sports medicine. He has also been an active member of the National Ski Patrol as well as a Member of the Windham Mountain Ski Patrol for 18 years.