Hip Strains

When one of the muscles surrounding the hip joint is stretched or torn during a sports activity or daily task, a person can get a hip strain. Strains can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the injury. Most hip strains are treated with non-surgical options.

Hip Bursitis

The bursa is a sac filled with fluid that serves as cushion between bone and the surrounding area. When the hip’s bursa becomes inflamed, it can be very painful. Hip bursitis is also known as trochanteric bursitis because the bursa is next to the greater trochanter, a bony protrusion at the end of the thigh bone. Most bursae are treated with nonsurgical options.

Femoral Acetabular Impingement (FAI)

FAI (also known as femoral acetabular impingement) is a condition in which either the ball or the socket of the hip is misshapen due to the growth of extra bone on one or both of those parts of the hip. These developmental abnormalities cause the ball and socket to no longer fit together. As a result, they scrape against one another, and cause pain. FAI may occur in patients as young as high school and may lead to cartilage and labral tears. Over the long term, patients may develop arthritis. New research shows that patients who are treated for FAI using a hip preservation technique, may delay the need to have a hip replacement or avoid one entirely.

Hip Dysplasia

Dr. Williams at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush with patient.

Dr. Williams at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush with patient.

Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip socket doesn’t fully cover the ball portion of the femur, resulting in instability. It is more commonly found in women. In fact, studies show the ratio of women to men with this condition is seven to one. Hip dysplasia can be painful, cause difficulty walking, and over the long term predictably leads to osteoarthritis. Hip dysplasia tends to be a congenital condition; symptoms may be present at birth or may come to light at any time during childhood or young adulthood. Similar to FAI, patients who are treated early with an osteotomy may delay the need to have a hip replacement or avoid one entirely. Hip dysplasia is the most common cause of arthritis in women. Studies also show a woman is 12 times more likely to get hip dysplasia if there is a family history.

Labral Tears

The labrum is an area of soft tissue or cartilage deep inside the hip joint that allows for stability and smooth movement. The labrum can be torn during physical activity, when someone experiences a trauma, or it can develop over time. These tears, which may eventually increase the risk of arthritis, can cause substantial pain and instability in the groin area. Patients may also experience a “catching” or “locking” sensation.


Hip osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that tends to be diagnosed in people middle-aged or older. Those with a higher chance of developing osteoarthritis include individuals who are obese, those who have suffered an injury and those who are genetically predisposed to have hip arthritis. The surface of the hip joint is covered by the synovium, which produces fluid to lubricate the cartilage. In patients with osteoarthritis, however, the cartilage begins to wear away, and there is little or no lubrication, leaving patients in pain and struggling with daily activities. As the cartilage disappears, patients may be left with nothing but bone-on-bone.