Hip Pain and Osteoarthritis

Healthy Hip

Understanding how your hip works

Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint: A ball (femoral head) at the top of the thighbone (femur) fits into a rounded socket or cup-like cavity (acetabulum) in your pelvis. Bands of tissues called ligaments form a capsule connecting the ball to the socket and holding the bones in place. A layer of smooth tissue called cartilage cushions the surface of the bones to help the ball rotate easily in the socket.

Osteoarthritic Hip


Osteoarthritis (OA) can affect any joint in your body, but most commonly affects the knee and hip joints. It’s the most common reason for total joint replacement. When OA affects the hip joint, the cartilage cushioning the bones softens and wears away, causing the bones to grind against one another. That grinding hurts. You can feel it walking, sitting or even lying down trying to sleep.

Although osteoarthritis is more common among people over 50 years old, people of any age can have OA due to previous injury, overuse of the joints or obesity. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and affects an estimated 27 million Americans.1

Symptoms2 of osteoarthritis include:

  • Joint aching and soreness
  • Pain, especially following activity
  • Stiffness after periods of rest
  • Swelling of the affected joint

1. Osteoarthritis Fact Sheet. US Department of Health and Human Services.  https://report.nih.gov/nihfactsheets/ViewFactSheet.aspx?csid=552

2. Handout on Health: Osteoarthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.  http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/osteoarthritis/#5

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Talk to your surgeon about whether joint replacement or another treatment is right for you and the risks of the procedure, including the risk of implant wear, loosening or failure, and pain, swelling and infection. Zimmer Biomet does not practice medicine; only a surgeon can answer your questions regarding your individual symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.