Arthritis of the hip is a fairly common condition as people get older and usually comes on spontaneously although it may follow other conditions where the hip has not formed properly or has been damaged by injury or disease.
Pain is often felt in the groin, side and buttock and may radiate down the thigh to the knee. Walking becomes painful and restricted and the joint feels stiff. It may be quite troublesome at night.
As the arthritis progresses the articular cartilage (the smooth shiny covering of the joint surfaces) gets progressively worn till the bone underneath is exposed and the pain steadily increases.
Initially the pain can be treated with simple pain killers and physiotherapy and a stick may help when walking but in severe cases a hip replacement is a very effective way of treating the pain.