Hip pain, hip symptoms and hip disorders are more common than realised, likely due to the difficulty with diagnosing them accurately. Several body areas can refer pain in the hip area and cause leg pain, including the lumbar spine, the sacroiliac joints, pelvic structures, buttock syndromes and the hip joint itself. Lower back pain may have as part of its picture pain in the hip, sometimes as the main symptom.
Hip pain problems can be classified according to the age group they occur in, and whether they include joint stiffness with or without pain, or normal joint motion with hip pain. Pain can include buttock pain, hip pain, thigh pain, lateral hip pain, bursitis pain and groin pain.
As hip pain can be referred as far as the knee the initial diagnosis can be knee pain with osteoarthritis of the knee, and a knee replacement may be planned. Careful examination and history should discover that hip arthritis is the cause of the knee pain.
Age-related classification of hip disorders:
Young children approx 4-12 years
It is not a common syndrome, with about one in 1200 children under 15 years in the US affected. It is a self-limiting condition but the results can vary from a normal hip to significant osteoarthritis.
Transient arthritis presents as similar to septic arthritis (a serious infection) so the diagnosis needs to be made accurately. If transient arthritis is the diagnosis, the treatment is rest, anti-inflammatory drugs and time.
Older children, approx 12-17 years
It can be difficult to visualise what the operation is for and what is done when the hip is replaced with a metal and plastic insert. Watching a hip replacement video can be useful to understand what is going on and enable a patient to participate in a more informed way in, for example, the hip replacement exercises and rehabilitation.