The hip joint unites the head of the femur to the acetabulum of the coxal bone. Intra-articular surfaces are covered by cartilage and the acetabular labrum attaches to the bony acetabular rim within the joint.
An injury to the hip joint can cause a labral tear. It may cause pain in the groin a young person born with abnormal bone shapes causing an impingement (femoroacetabular impingement). A torn labrum can be repaired and the abnormal bone shape corrected by surgery.
Be careful! Patients with groin pain without an injury are seldom improved by hip arthroscopy even if imaging techniques demonstrate a degenerated or torn labrum.
Hip bursitis (trochanteric bursitis) causes pain of the outer hip and thigh. In young people it can be associated with a “snapping”. In the older population, a degenerative tear of the gluteus tendons is sometimes associated. Surgery may be required to treat this problem.
Osteoarthritis is the destruction of cartilage surfaces, often related to the aging process. Pain is mostly felt in the groin and sometimes in the buttock and the knee.
It is not possible to regenerate cartilage. When hip pain get worse and surgery is the only option left, a total hip replacement (THR) is performed with implants made of metal, plastic or ceramic.