Osteoarthritis of the hip is a disease in which the smooth cartilage which covers both the ball and socket of the joint wears out.
This is often seen as we get older from everyday wear and tear but can also happen in younger patients both from injury, genetic influences and in patients whose ball or socket is not perfectly round or when the ball impinges on the edge fo the socket. If a patient develops hip osteoarthritis it often affects both sides. As the osteoarthritis progresses the cartilage can wear out all the way to the bone and cause bone spurs, cysts and even a shorter leg.
Patients often experience pain in the groin, buttock or down the leg into the knee. The hip can become stiffer preventing daily activities such as putting on shoes and socks and can also cause a limp. Patients often report pain and stiffness which is worse with the first few steps and say that it takes awhile to "warm the hip up". Osteoarthritis arthritis symptoms can come and go with some days and weeks being worse than others.