Open Accessibility Menu

Hip Pain

Relieving Hip Pain in Orange County

What is Hip Pain?

While the hip is considered to be quite durable and can handle repeat motion and a fair amount of wear and tear, this ball-and-socket joint with age and use can wear down or become damaged, resulting in hip pain often described as dull, aching, throbbing, sharp or a burning pain.

The precise location of your hip pain can help your hip surgeon better determine the underlying cause. For example, problems in the hip joint itself tend to result in pain on the front or inside of your hip (anterior hip pain) or groin area. Whereas, hip pain on the outside of your hip (lateral hip pain), upper thigh or outer buttock region (posterior hip pain) are typically caused by muscle, ligaments, tendons, small tissue damage and/or nerves that surrounds the hip joint. Additionally, your doctor will perform a physical examination and possibly order diagnostic imaging to properly diagnose your condition.

Types of Hip Pain and Causes of Hip Pain

Looking at the various causes of hip pain by location – anterior, lateral, or posterior is generally a good way to understand the complexities of hip pain.

Anterior Hip Pain

The following conditions tend to cause hip pain to be felt on the inside of your hip joint and/or in your groin area.

  • Osteoarthritis of the Hip: Osteoarthritis damages the cartilage that cushions the bones of the hip joint. This typically arises in older patients due to wear and tear on the joint. Hip Osteoarthritis causes the hip joint to stiffen and can become quite painful.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hip: Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease seen in older patients which causes the body’s immune system to attack its own tissue resulting in inflammation of the hip joint resulting in swelling, hip pain and stiffness of the hip joints. Left untreated, it can lead to hip joint deformity which leads to difficulty moving the hips.
  • Hip Fracture: A hip fracture typically occurs in older patients and in those dealing with osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones due to age and other factors. A hip fracture may occur after a traumatic injury or fall. It may also occur as a result of a stress injury, which are most common in female athletes who have an eating disorder, abnormal menstrual cycles and bone weakening.
  • Iliopsoas Bursitis: There are two major bursae in the hip that can become irritated and inflamed. The bursae located on the inside of the hip (the groin side) is known as Iliopsoas Bursa. When the bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is referred to as hip bursitis, but the pain is located in the groin area. This condition is not as common as trochanteric bursitis, but is treated similarly.
  • Hip Tendonitis Hip Tendonitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendons that connect the gluteal muscles in your buttocks to your hip bone. It is more common in athletes who run, cycle or other high intensity sports. Common symptoms include tenderness on the hip where the tendon starts and hip stiffness after long periods of rest.
  • Hip Flexor Strain: The muscles that make up the hip flexors include: Psoas major, Iliacus, Rectus Femoris, Pectineus and Sartorius. You can strain or tear the hip flexors when you make sudden movements like changing directions while running or kicking – commonly seen in runners, soccer, football and tennis players. Overuse of these muscles or some form of trauma, such as a direct hit from a contact sports can result in hip flexor strain. In addition to anterior hip pain, hip flexor strains can cause swelling in the hip, restricted movement and muscle weakness.
  • Osteonecrosis of the Hip: Hip Osteonecrosis, also called avascular necrosis, occurs when the hip bone does not receive sufficient blood supply. A lack of normal blood supply can damage the bone cells which diminishes the strength of the bone considerably which can leave the bone susceptible to collapse and injury.
  • Hip Labrum Tear: Overuse or a hip injury can cause a tear to your labrum, the band of cartilage-like tissue that surrounds the outer rim of your hip socket. This type of injury causes dull or sharp anterior hip pain and worsens with weight bearing activities.
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI): Femoroacetabular Impingement is a condition where bone spurs can develop around the hip joint causing restricted movement. The bone growths can eventually lead to tears of the labrum and hip osteoarthritis.

Lateral Hip Pain

Pain on the side of the hip (lateral hip pain) can be caused by the following conditions.

  • Trochanteric Bursitis (Hip Bursitis): Hip bursitis occurs when the large bursa that lies over the bony knob near the top of the thighbone (greater trochanter) becomes inflamed. It tends to cause sharp lateral hip pain that can spread down into the thigh and knee. Pain tends to worsen at night when sleeping on the affected hip or during physical activity like walking or running.
  • Snapping Hip Syndrome: Not surprising, a snapping hip is a condition that causes a snapping or popping sound in your hip when you walk or when you get out of a chair. While it is generally painless it is typically caused when a muscle or tendon moves over the bony protrusion in your hip.

Posterior Hip Pain

Pain felt on the outside of the hip or buttock area is posterior hip pain. Typically, when patients experience outer hip pain it is caused by weak or tight muscles in the hip or buttock area that can irritate tendons or ligaments that surround the hip joint. The following conditions can lead to outer hip pain.

  • Sacroiliac Joint Injury: Sacroiliitis is inflammation of one or both of your sacroiliac joints. It can be difficult to diagnose because it can be mistaken for other causes of low back pain. Sacroiliitis can cause pain in your buttocks or lower back and can extend down one or both legs.
  • Piriformis Syndrome: The Piriformis syndrome is a condition that involves a spasm of the piriformis muscle which can also irritate the sciatic nerve and cause pain, numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot. The piriformis muscle is located in the buttock region.

Nonsurgical Treatment of Hip Pain

Most hip pain can be treated with conservative treatments including the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Your hip surgeon may also recommend you try over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor may also prescribe physical therapy or a cortisone steroid injection. The doctors at Newport Orthopedic Institute will customize your treatment plan to alleviate your hip pain and get you back to your normal activities.

Surgical Treatments for Hip Pain

While your hip surgeon will attempt to exhaust all nonsurgical treatments to resolve your hip pain, if those treatments do not succeed you may be a candidate for hip surgery. The board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Newport Orthopedic Institute have been fellowship-trained to treat a range of hip conditions with the latest evidence-based surgical treatment options including:

Schedule a consultation with a Newport Orthopedic Institute orthopedic hip surgeon to treat your Hip Pain.
Call (949) 722-7038.

Related Providers
*Please note that all physicians are listed in random order and search results are refreshed every hour to comply with Stark Law.
Related Testimonials
  • Total Hip Replacement "Dr. Caillouette and Cara PA are great to deal with – they answer all questions promptly. All staff at the hospital was very helpful and friendly." Provider: James T Caillouette MD
  • Total Hip Replacement ""I felt like his experience and knowledge allowed me to feel like I was in good hands. Pleasant bed side manner and I certainly have been pleased with the results of my hip replacement."" Provider: James T Caillouette MD
  • Total Hip Replacement "Professionalism and all wanting to make every thing right." Provider: James T Caillouette MD
  • Total Hip Replacement "Dr. Caillouette is an excellent surgeon. Both of my surgeries were successful - and life changing (for the better). I am deeply grateful." Provider: James T Caillouette MD
  • Total Hip Replacement "From beginning to end, Dr. Caillouette and his team have exceeded my best expectations! I will enthusiastically recommend Dr. Caillouette every opportunity I have! 100% satisfied! THANK YOU!!" Provider: James T Caillouette MD
  • Hip Procedure "Dr. Dunphy explains why I have a left hip problem and how to make it better. He takes CT scans and x-rays of my hip and shows me the pictures. He fully explains my issue and what I can do to improve it." Provider: Taylor R Dunphy MD
  • Total Hip Replacement "Doctor Caillouette is an excellent surgeon, and I feel I am in the best hands possible." Provider: James T Caillouette MD
  • Total Hip Replacement "When I asked a question I always received a response. Sometimes immediately!" Provider: Nader A Nassif MD
  • Total Hip Replacement "I know Dr Caillouette has a busy practice, but I did not feel like a number to them. Each person I dealt with had a very kind demeanor and took the time to help me with whatever I needed." Provider: James T Caillouette MD
  • Total Hip Replacement "I felt very comfortable with Dr Nassif. He answered all my questions. And I had complete confidence in him and the staff along the way." Provider: Nader A Nassif MD
  • Total Hip Replacement "All aspects. The friendliness and genuine caring for my healing and getting along in a better life than what I had prior to surgery." Provider: James T Caillouette MD
  • Total Hip Replacement "Any questions I had were immediately addressed & answered. Could not have been more pleased with the results of my surgery. Am recommending Dr. Caillouette to any and all with whom I come in contact. He explains everything in great detail" Provider: James T Caillouette MD
Patient Reviews are anonymous and provided through GetWell, a HIPAA compliant patient engagement tool.
Related Videos
Related Blogs
Related Locations