What is the hip?
The hip is the area on each side of the pelvis. The pelvis bone is made up of 3 sections:
Ilium. The broad, flaring portion of the pelvis.
Pubis. The lower, rear part of the pelvis.
Ischium. One of the bones that helps form the hip.
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that allows motion and gives stability needed
to bear body weight.
The socket area (acetabulum) is inside the pelvis. The ball part of this joint is
the top of the thighbone (femur). It joins with the acetabulum to form the hip joint.
The hip is one of the most stable joints in the body. But because it bears your body
weight, it is more likely to develop arthritis because of the extra pressure. Pain
in the hip may be caused by injury to muscles, tendons, or the small fluid-filled
sacs (bursae) that cushion and lubricate joints.
What are common hip problems?
The following are some of the most common hip problems:
Arthritis is the most common cause of the breakdown of hip tissue. Three kinds of
arthritis commonly affect the hip:
Osteoarthritis. Also referred to as "wear and tear" arthritis. This type of arthritis damages the
cartilage that cushions the bones of the hip wearing away. This lets the bones then
rub together, causing hip pain and stiffness.
Rheumatoid arthritis. This disease causes the lining of the joint (synovial membrane) to become irritated
and make too much fluid. It damages the cartilage, leading to pain and stiffness.
Traumatic arthritis. Often the result of an injury or fracture.
In this condition, the fluid-filled sac (bursa) in the joint becomes inflamed. The
bursa functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues. There are 2
major bursae of the hip. Both can cause stiffness and pain around the hip joint:
Other common hip problems:
Avascular necrosis. This condition involves the loss of bone caused by not getting enough blood. It can
also be caused by injury or bone tumors. It may lead to breakdown of the hip joint.
Hip pointer. A bruise or tear in the muscle that connects to the top of the ilium. The ilium is
the crest of the pelvis, just below the waist. Causes of a hip pointer may include
a blow, a fall, or a quick twist or turn of the body.