The Hip

In simple terms the hip joint consists of a dome-shaped socket which belongs to the pelvis and a head which forms the upper end of the femur (thigh bone). This nearly spherical head is located in the socket. The entire formation is surrounded by a joint capsule, muscles and tendons.

Adults have been found to show the following conditions in the region of the hip:

  1. Bursitis which is actually located outside the hip joint but is often mistaken for a hip joint problem by lay-persons. The patient experiences pain below the buttocks. Treatment: usually a few injections/infiltrations at the site of the symptoms will be adequate.
  2. Abrasion (osteoarthritis) of the hip joint: Most common causes: advanced age, congenital malalignment of the involved bones The pain is typically in the groin – initially only in case of marked load-bearing, later also at rest or at night.


Injections or capsules to reinforce cartilage, remedial gymnastics, physiotherapy, physical medicine, massage, surgery. For those whose hip joints have undergone so much abrasion that conservative therapy such as build-up of cartilage, physical therapy, massage, physiotherapy/remedial gymnastics do not bring about any pain relief or improvement of mobility, one may consider the use of modern artificial joints.

The operation can be performed as a minimally invasive procedure – which means that the soft tissue is very carefully preserved – or the standard procedure can be used. The choice of the procedure mainly depends on the anatomical conditions.

In-hospital stay: usually 8 to 11 days after surgery.

Follow-up treatment: Crutches are needed until the patient feels confident about being able to walk. Usually this occurs after 6 weeks. Of course it also depends on the patient’s mobility, strength and coordination prior to the operation. After the operation the patient should undergo a rehabilitation stay of at least 3 weeks in order to optimise the outcome of surgery. If the patient is generally very weak, the in-hospital stay should be immediately followed by treatment that will achieve general vitalisation of his/her condition.

Specific conditions relating to the hip joint:

Femoral neck fractures: May occur in advanced age even without experiencing a fall – especially in the presence of osteoporosis

Treatment: Surgery

Muscle tears in the groin/Rupture of adductors: Tears at the origin of tendons in the groin region; usually during sports

Treatment: Physiotherapy, massage, physical therapy, if necessary infiltrations.

Inguinal hernia: Eversion (outpouching) of portions of the intestines through a muscle gap in the inguinal canal.

Treatment: At the office of the abdominal surgeon

This page is also available in: Deutsch