Pain on the outer side of the hip and thigh is often NOT hip arthritis. It may be due to trochanteric bursitis, which is an inflammation
of the overlying muscle and tendon. It usually does not need surgery, and responds to targeted injections or physiotherapy.
I regularly see this painful condition in patients who have mistakenly been told they need a hip replacement...! They are relieved when the pain settles after relatively painless treatment programme.
Lower back arthritis
This is a common cause of pain felt in the hip. It needs to be correctly diagnosed and differentiated from a hip problem. It often requires referral to a back specialist for further treatment.
This progressive degenerative condition usually presents with groin pain. It is often misdiagnosed as a groin or muscle strain. Occasionally, hip arthritis causes pain in the thigh and knee (referred pain), but careful clinical and radiographic examination, will reveal the true cause.
I offer patients a trial of hip joint injection if they are unsure about replacement surgery, and most are surprised at how much better they feel. A hip replacement is a major operation and I am keen to allay patients’ fears about surgery, while doing my best to get a great result.