Hip pain involves the joints, bones, muscles, ligaments (connect the bones together), or tendons (connect muscle to the bone) in the hip, groin, upper thigh, or buttocks.
Pain results from pressure, injury, or disease such as wear and tear due to aging, overuse, or repetitive motions during sports or physical activity. Injury or problems in the pelvis or lower back can also cause hip pain, and in some cases the pain can be referred to the knee, Other common causes of hip pain or injury include:
- Avascular necrosis: bone tissue death caused by blocked blood flow
- Bursitis: painful inflammation in the hip caused by pressure or injury
- Cartilage injuries: damage to the tissue that covers the surface of the bone
- Cysts and tumors: sacs filled with air, fluid, or other substances (most are noncancerous, but they can be cancerous)
- Fractures or hip dislocation: bones are broken or moved out of place
- Hip dysplasia: hip joint is too shallow or the wrong size to fully support the bone
- Hip labral tear: damage to the cartilage cushion that lines the hip socket
- Hip muscle strains: overstretching or tearing of a muscle
- Infections: can occur in the bones or joints
- Leg-length discrepancies: unevenness of the legs
- Muscle tightness, as in Piriformis syndrome: spasms in a muscle of the buttocks that can cause severe pain down the leg
- Nerve compression, damage, or hip impingement: compression of the bony or soft tissue structures of the hip during physical activities
- Quadriceps contusions: deep bruises in the thigh
- Sprains: due to torn ligaments
- Tendonitis: inflammation due to strained or ruptured tendons
- Tumors: abnormal tissue growth or swelling (can be cancerous or noncancerous)
If you’re having trouble moving or walking, call an orthopaedic specialist at University of Miami Health System. We offer appointments as soon as possible — often the same day or within 24 hours.
Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication or recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, to reduce swelling and pain.
You may need to work with a physical therapist to regain strength and use following an injury.
Your orthopaedic doctor will conduct a thorough exam and review your health history to diagnose a hip injury.
Your doctor may order an imaging test such as an X-ray, a computerized tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm a diagnosis.
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