Arthrosis of the hip (coxarthrosis) involves consumption of the hip’s articular cartilage. This is a gradual degenerative disease characterized by increasing pain and rigidity that limits joint movement.

Arthrosis may be primitive, ie. without a definite cause, or secondary, ie. caused by congenital (dysplasia) or infantile diseases of the hip, outcome of fractures, osteonecrosis, prior articular infections or other pathologies.

Onset of the primitive form usually occurs after 60, whereas secondary forms (especially as an outcome of dysplasia) may affect younger patients.

A typical onset of coxarthrosis would involve groin pain spreading eventually along the anterior face of the thigh. Some patients complain of pain in the buttocks or on the side of the thigh.

Pain will initially follow prolonged effort and later also on resuming activity after a rest (getting out of bed or out of a chair). Pain may gradually become more frequent and lead to limited joint movement and limping. Being woken at night through pain is associated with severe arthrosis.

Standard radiography of the affected hip (anterior-posterior of the pelvis and lateral) is sufficient for diagnosing coxarthrosis. Typical X-ray evidence of arthrosis of the hip includes:

  • depletion of the articular rim (caused by consumption of the cartilage, which is radiotransparent, ie. it appears as empty space inside the joint);
  • presence of osteophytes (small bone spurs near the articulation);
  • presence of geodes (areas of bone loss in the femur had or acetabulum);

la presence of bone sclerosis (areas bone thickening underneath worn or suffering cartilage).

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