Hip pain can be caused by several different problems. Pain that aches during standing, walking, or general daily activities may be due to thinning or wearing out the joint surface itself. This is commonly known as osteoarthritis.
Pain with certain movements that is sharp, catching, or has a snapping sensation may be caused by trochanteric bursitis, labral tear, impingement, or sometimes from instability of the joint itself.
Hip Joint Pain
Often confused with other types of pain around the hip, hip joint pain is often felt in the front of the hip region.
When the pain is on the side or outside of the hip, this may be from muscles rubbing on the trochanter. This is also known as bursitis. Sometimes it feels like something is snapping in and out of place on the side of the hip. This is usually a muscle sliding over the trochanter and does not mean that the hip joint is going in and out of the socket. Trochanteric bursitis is a common cause of hip pain and is usually treated with anti-inflammatory medicines, cortisone injections, and physical therapy.
Pain in the groin with a snapping noise suggests something is torn or loose inside the joint or possibly a muscle is snapping in front of the joint itself. Pain that is sharp, stabbing or has a catching sensation in certain positions may be due to a torn labrum or an impingement. Sometimes a torn labrum will make a loud clicking noise.
The labrum is the soft edge of the socket. It gets damaged easily when the hip is unstable or shallow. Diagnosis is usually made with an MRI with dye injected into the joint. Sometimes a labral tear can be repaired with minimally invasive surgery using an arthroscope. Other times, there may be a fracture or the socket itself may need to be deepend or re-positioned by dividing the bone around the socket.
Impingement is not usually caused by dysplasia, but it can be painful. The pain is more like a pinching pain in certain positions of sitting or hip movement like a high kick when dancing. Impingement is usually caused by an abnormal shape of the neck of the femur just below the head. It can also be caused by a socket that is too deep.
When the neck of the femur is too thick or the socket is too deep, then the neck hits against the rim of the socket and causes pain and deterioration of the labrum or hip joint itself.
The test for impingement is usually done by flexing the hip and then twisting the hip inwards to rub the femoral neck against the edge of the hip socket. If this causes the pinching pain, then the most likely cause is impingement.
Treatment is normally surgical and can sometimes be done through an arthroscope as a minimally invasive procedure. When the pinching is over a big area, then the hip needs to be surgically dislocated and re-shaped with the surgeon is looking directly at the exposed bone and the surface of the hip joint.