What’s Causing my Hip Pain?

It is critical that your hip pain is evaluated by a hip specialist, as hip pain can be caused by structures around the hip, or it can be referred from the back or abdominal organs. If you are experiencing hip pain, being evaluated by an orthopaedic hip surgeon is essential to ensure a correct diagnosis and treatment plan.

Structures in the hip which commonly cause pain include the labrum, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles. There can be considerable overlap in the structures which are causing pain, as multiple problems can be occurring at the same time to cause your hip to be painful.

Hip arthritis

Hip arthritis is the most common cause of hip pain in older patients, as joint degeneration causes inflammation and irritation which causes pain and limping. Normally, the pain is worse with walking and activity, and it is relieved by rest and anti-inflammatory medication. Patients can sometimes have both hip arthritis, and tendon problems that are causing their pain.


Hip pain which is felt over the outside part of the hip, and which is worse with direct pressure or lying on the side, can be caused by inflammation of the soft tissues or bursa, and whilst it is an annoyance and can cause limping, is not normally restrictive and as functionally debilitating as arthritis pain.

Hip pain in younger patients

In younger patients, common causes of hip pain including hip dysplasia, labral tears, femoroacetabular impingement (FaI), stress fractures and overuse injuries. It is vital that if you are a younger patient with hip pain, that you are evaluated by a hip specialist as these diagnoses are commonly missed.

In children, common causes of hip pain include hip dysplasia, perthes disease, slipped femoral epiphysis (SUFE/SCFE), and infections.

In summary, there are many causes of hip pain, and it is essential that you are evaluated by a hip specialist to determine the cause of yours.