Arthrosis of the hip joint is an age-related disease. The normal cartilage surface of the joint is worn away, the main reason for this being long-lasting hip overuse (especially in overweight patients), injuries, fractures and congenital deformities (e.g. of the hip socket).
A worn-out hip is characterised by thinning and degradation of the joint cartilage. This condition is commonly called arthrosis and is frequently accompanied by pain. At first, the pain only occurs on straining, but progresses over time until it is also felt while resting. The pain increases gradually, often over several years.
The hip is a ball and socket joint in which the head of the femur is the ball and the pelvic acetabulum forms the socket. The joint surface is covered by a smooth articular cartilage that cushions and enables smooth and painless movements of the joint. After long years of use the cartilage layer may wear thin or even wear out completely. Hip movement becomes restricted and painful. Additionally, bone spurs emerge, which only worsen the already limited joint mobility. In the last phase of the condition, the hip cannot be moved at all.