The hips are 2 of the largest weight-bearing joints in the body. They allow you to sit, bend, walk, and turn without pain, when working properly. To continue working properly and function at a high level a network of bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons must all work in harmony.

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint where top of the femur articulates with a portion of the pelvic bone. The portion of the pelvic bone, the acetabulum, fits tightly around the head of the femur and is normally held in the socket by very powerful ligaments that form a complete envelope around the joint. The head of the femur and the socket are lined with a smooth layer of cartilage, which is fairly soft and allows the bones to move without pain and friction.

When the hip joint becomes diseased by osteoarthritis the normal movements of sitting, bending, walking, and turning can become very painful and difficult. Conservative treatments can include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, rest, and corticosteroid injections under fluoroscopic guidance. Often, when conservative treatments have not provided relief, and total hip replacement may be suggested by your Provider.

Harvard University Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston Children's Hospital International Geriatric Fracture Society Dignity Health Banner Casa Grande Medical Center Rosalind Franklin University Maimonides Medical Center