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What is hip arthritis?

Arthritis of the hip is when the protective cartilage of the hip joint wears down, causing inflammation. A combination of inflammation and loss of joint gliding surfaces creates pain in the hip joint along with stiffness.

A healthy hip joint is a well-defined ball-and-socket joint with a space between the two bones at the point where the head of the femur moves freely inside the acetabulum (the cup-shaped socket in the hip bone) under normal circumstances; in an arthritic hip, the bones of the joint are not clearly defined, and in fact, because the loss of cartilage is extensive, the head of the femur is jams into or grinds against the acetabulum. This leads to a painful joint with limited mobility.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.