Skip to main content
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Hip and Knee

This site is best viewed with a modern browser. You appear to be using an old version of Internet Explorer.

Hip Arthritis

Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. There are many different causes for hip arthritis but the main symptoms people present with are pain and stiffness.

The following are common causes of hip arthritis:


This is a condition in which the joints of the body becomes damaged, stop moving freely and become painful. It is the most common form of arthritis in the UK.

  • 8.85 million people in the UK sought treatment for osteoarthritis:
    • 4.7 million (18% of total UK population): Knee
    • 2.1 million (8% of total UK population): Hip
  • Osteoarthritis affects 18% of women and 9.6% of men aged over 60 years worldwide.

Most likely causes:

  • Late 40s or over
  • Females are more likely to have osteoarthritis than males
  • Hereditary
  • Overweight
  • Previous joint injury
  • Physically demanding job with repetitive movements
  • Joint damage from another disease

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease, mainly characterized by inflammation of the lining, or synovium, of the joints. It can lead to long-term joint damage, resulting in chronic pain, loss of function and disability.

Rheumatoid arthritis progresses in three stages:

  1. Swelling of the synovial lining, causing pain, warmth, stiffness, redness and swelling around the joint
  2. The rapid division and growth of cells, or pannus, which causes the synovium to thicken
  3. The inflamed cells release enzymes that may digest bone and cartilage, often causing the involved joint to lose its shape and alignment, more pain, and loss of movement.

Xray normal and Rheumatoid hip missing

Other Conditions

Several other systemic diseases can also involve the hip joint leading to arthritis. These include:

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Gout
  • Pseudo gout
  • Disease processes like Avascular Necrosis (Osteonecrosis).

Treatment of each condition is tailored to each individual. When conservative and none surgical options have been exhausted it may be recommended by your clinician that hip replacement surgery would be of benefit.