Despite its large size, the hip joint is susceptible to sudden injury from a blow or a fall, as well as from normal wear and tear. In younger people, it is often a sudden injury or collision that causes hip injury, although anatomical abnormalities and athletics can also play a role. As people age, the gradual erosion of the cartilage that coats and protects the joint can cause pain and immobility. In addition, the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis can also take a gradual toll, until a fall fractures the hip. About 76% of these fractures occur in women. For many hip problems, total hip replacement will be needed to bring pain relief and new mobility. But treatment depends on the cause of the problem, the person's age, and other individual factors.
More Answers from Scott Martin, MD