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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Hip and Knee

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Treatment options

The cause of hip and/or groin pain is unique to each individual and treatment options will vary from patient to patient.

Below are standard treatment options used for hip and/or groin pain.

Diagram showing treatment options

The diagram above shows treatment options as disease severity increases:

  • pain killers and steroid injections
  • key hole surgery (arthroscopy)
  • hip replacement.

Physiotherapy can be used separately or in addition to any of the other treatment options listed previously.

Pain killers and injections

Aid in alleviating swollen joints and therefore can possibly help reduce pain in the hip.


  • Avoids surgery


  • Often improves but does not resolve pain
  • May not improve function
  • Steriods require injection and may only work for a limited period of time

Key hole surgery (arthroscopy)

Through minor incisions, surgeons can repair damaged structures and reshape the hip joint.


  • Short stay or day-case procedure
  • Minimally-invasive
  • Improves pain in about 80 percent of patients
  • Can treat FAI, labrel tears, impingement, and early osteoarthritis as well as many other conditions
  • May reduce risk of developing osteoarthritis but not yet known


  • Relatively new procedure with no long term results yet
  • Less effective if patient has established osteoarthritis
  • Like all surgical procedures, there is always a risk of complications
  • Can take 10-12 months to derive full benefit

Hip replacement

Major surgery that requires the surgeon to go in and alter the hip with, depending on the case - ceramic on ceramic, ceramic on polyethylene (plastic) or metal on polyethylene.


  • Definitive treatment for osteoarthritis of the hip with long and successful track record


  • Major surgery
  • Like all surgical procedures there is always a risk of complications
  • Joint replacement may only last 15-20 years before revision surgery is required (even bigger surgery)
  • 10 percent of people have ongoing pain

Hip replacement videos

Having a hip replacement - parts one and two


Can be used separately or in addition to any of the other treatment options listed previously. A trained physiotherapist would work with you on your condition to create a treatment regime. Much of their prescribed treatment would require work in your personal time with regular visits over a certain time period to see how you are progressing.


  • Can be used as a non-surgical option
  • Can be used in addition to keyhole surgery or hip replacement
  • May reduce risk of development osteoarthritis, but that is not known yet (see FAIT study)


  • Depending on your case, it may not be enough to relieve the pain