If you feel pain in the front of your hips or your groin area, it could be because of arthritis, a hip fracture, a labral tear or hip impingement.
For older adults, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common cause of hip pain. Pain from hip osteoarthritis is located in the front part of the hip or the groin. It may feel deep, constant and aching. Pain and stiffness might cause difficulty performing everyday activities such as putting on your shoes or getting into and out of the car.
In osteoarthritis, your hip joint’s protective covering of cartilage is thinned and worn down, causing pain, stiffness and decreased mobility. It is not known what causes osteoarthritis, but it is considered a ‘wear and tear’ condition that can happen gradually as you age.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory joint disease that can cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can affect any adult over 16, although it is more common in adults aged 40-60, and women are more commonly affected.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue — in this case, the healthy tissue of the hip joint. The pain associated with RA may feel like a throbbing or aching pain that is worse after periods of inactivity, such as after sleeping or not moving for some time.
Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis typically involves anti-inflammatory medications and medications that target the body’s immune system.
Hip fractures are cracks or breaks in the top of the femur close to the hip joint. They can be caused by a fall or other injury to the hip. Individuals over 65 are more prone to falls and fractures, and women are at even greater risk.
Hip fractures are serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that surgery should be performed no later than the day after hospital admission. In roughly half of all cases, hip replacement surgery is necessary.
If you have fallen or suspect a fracture, you should always seek immediate medical attention.
The labrum is a thick ring of cartilage that surrounds the rim of the hip socket (acetabulum).
A labral tear is when this tissue is damaged or torn. This can happen as a result of a fall or trauma, but often there is no known cause.
Pain from a labral tear is often felt in the groin. You might also experience a clicking or locking in place sensation in the hip joint.
Labral tears can sometimes be treated non-surgically with rest, anti-inflammatories and specialised physiotherapy rehabilitation. Another option is keyhole surgery, called arthroscopy.
Also called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), hip impingement syndrome is when the top of the femur (the ‘neck’ of the femur) impinges against the rim of the socket (acetabulum).
This can result in the labrum becoming painfully pinched, called hip impingement. This typically causes a sharp pain upon some flexing and twisting movements, such as swinging your legs into the car. This can cause damage to the cartilage.
Hip impingement syndrome can be treated with anti-inflammatory pain medication, exercises and physiotherapy.