What are degenerative conditions of the hip?

The hip is the point at which the thighbone and the pelvic bone meet, and consists of several parts – the acetabulum (socket), the femur (thighbone), articular capsule (connective tissue), femoral head (ball) and two hipbones. The hip carries a considerable weight, and as a result can be affected by degenerative conditions such as inflammatory osteoarthritis.

What is inflammatory osteoarthritis?

Inflammatory osteoarthritis causes the joints to swell, and can cause hip and knee pain. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease, and the risk of developing the condition increases with age.

When inflammatory osteoarthritis occurs in the hip, patients may experience the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty standing
  • Knee pain
  • Thigh pain
  • Groin pain
  • Buttock pain
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness

How can I treat this condition?

Your doctor may use an x-ray to diagnose this condition, and will need to perform a physical examination to test your hip function.

Some non-surgical treatments include:

  • Rest
  • Special exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

In the case of severe osteoarthritis, speak to your doctor about joint replacement or total hip replacement surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon will perform a thorough evaluation before proceeding. Hip replacement involves replacing damaged bone and cartilage with prosthetic components.


Dr Gabriel Pirjol is an orthopaedic surgeon based in Kwazulu Natal at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban. He also consults and operates from Gateway Hospital in Umhlanga, Westville Hospital and Malvern Medicross.


Telephone: +27 31 202 5463

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Address : Suite 24 Chelmsford Medical Centre
St Augustine's Hospital
107 J B Marks Road
Berea, 4001