What is the hip joint?
The hip consists of a ball (femoral head) and a socket (acetabulum). There are also several ligaments and a thick lining (hip capsule) which help stabilise the joint.
What happens in hip arthritis?
In hip arthritis the bearing surfaces (articular cartilage) between the parts of the joint wears out. This results in friction within the joint, with a loss of the normal gliding action. This can cause stiffness in the joint, groin pain and difficulty walking. When the arthritis becomes severe the two ends of the bone rub against each other and can cause a ‘grating’ sensation. As the joint becomes stiffer it can result in pain in the same knee or even the opposite hip. This may also cause a limp when walking.