What your hip pain may be telling you

What your hip pain may be telling you

You might feel it when you’re pivoting into your golf swing. Or maybe it happens when you do something as normal as turning from the stove to grab something on the counter.

For a lot of people who sit for long periods — at a desk, in a car, on an airplane — that’s when they feel it: A sharp, stabbing pain or dull ache in the groin or along the outside of the hip.

[UPDATE: Latest hip replacement surgery has patients in and out same day]

Over time, the pain becomes intense enough that people give up on pastimes they love, like golf and traveling. Everyday tasks become more and more difficult.

Your problem could be FAI: femoroacetabular impingement. FAI occurs when the labrum, a thick cartilage that acts like a bumper cushion around the ball and socket hip joint, tears away from the socket. It’s usually the result of deformities or an injury. The pain from this can be felt in the groin area and the outer hip.

Symptoms of FAI

Patients with FAI have similar symptoms and often share a common lifestyle. Symptoms include:

  • Sharp stabbing or dull, insidious onset pain in groin or outer hip
  • Discomfort while sitting, especially in low-seated vehicles like sedans, airplanes and desks
  • Clicking, popping, snapping, catching, locking in the hip, or in the vicinity of the hip

Many FAI sufferers spend much of the day in a seated position, working on a computer. Or they may be “road warriors” who travel a great deal, either commuting to work or flying as part of their jobs. Some are athletes involved in hockey, football, baseball, gymnastics, ballet, dancing, yoga or pilates.

Time for a hip scope?

If you meet the strict indications and diagnosis for FAI, you might be a candidate for hip arthroscopy. A hip scope, as we call it, has gained popularity over the last 10 years, yet few orthopedic surgeons in the Chicago area perform it.

A hip scope is less invasive and very precise, usually an 8mm incision. Using long, arthroscopic cameras and minimally invasive instruments, we can heal native structures like cartilage.

Mistaking FAI for arthritis or hernia

As with all medical conditions, getting an accurate diagnosis is critical.  Unfortunately, FAI is commonly misdiagnosed as arthritis or a hernia, since the pain frequently occurs in the groin area.

If you’re misdiagnosed, your treatment will be ineffective. Your physician might focus on physical therapy to improve your range of motion, when what you actually need are strengthening exercises. When prescribed treatments that don’t alleviate the condition, some patients hear that they are simply going to have to live with the pain.

Diagnosing FAI requires a complete medical history, a very precise clinical exam to rule out other causes of pain, specific radiographs and sometimes a special kind of MRI. The specificity of this process is essential to an accurate diagnosis of FAI.

Road to recovery

It takes about two to three months to recover and rehab from a hip arthroscopy. We begin with partial weight bearing movement and using crutches immediately after the surgery, then advance to rehabilitation with a physical therapist within one week.

Patients typically regain functionality in their daily lives and improve their quality of life.

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70 Comments

  1. helen anderson May 8, 2014 at 1:51 pm · Reply

    does his type of pain come and go Physical therapist thought this might be my problem but today I am walking without pain

    • Shelley jones May 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm · Reply

      I have had a dull ache in right buttock for months but over the last few weeks especially when wearing flat pumps and walking on uneven ground such as sand I have had severe pain in my groin and the front of my right thigh so it makes me limp. It is intermittent. I have already had a hip replacement at age 49. Is it time to go back to the consultant?

  2. helen anderson May 8, 2014 at 1:56 pm · Reply

    DOES THIS TYPE OF PAIN LABREAL TEAR COME AND GO?

  3. The piriformis is a muscle that is behind the hip joint in the buttocks. The piriformis muscle is small compared to other muscles around the hip and thigh, and it aids in external rotation (turning out) of the hip joint. The piriformis muscle and its tendon have an close relationship to the sciatic nerve–the largest nerve in the body–which supplies the lower extremities with motor and sensory function. The piriformis tendon and sciatic nerve cross each other behind the hip joint, in the deep buttock.

    http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/sprainsstrains/a/piriformis.htm

  4. I’ve had hip pain for the last two years. It’s very tender to touch the hip bone and have a pain when I stand from a sitting position. Have been to the Doctors and over the last 2 years have had 2 injections in my hip, they work for a few months but then pain returns. The doc has referred me to the physio again, do you think I could have FAI?

    • Well, if you’ve had injections that alleviated the problem, you know exactly where the problem is. Where did they put the injections?

  5. I’m 40, but I’ve had this weird dull pain in my left groin for a while. You can almost feel it when my leg is pull back in a stretch position. It’s worst when I get out of my car, it takes me few minutes to start walking normally without a limp, I’ve also give up exercise because it bothers me. I’m gonna schedule a dr appointment but I would love to know what I should really ask to be done besides it being brushed off. Thank you

    • Hi Lara,
      I am currently having the same exact pain you described above in 2014. I am your exact age, 42, I am curious, did you get it diagnosed? And if so, what was the diagnosis? It hurts the most after I run or work out and literally takes a few hours for the pain to get to a level I can handle.
      Thank you very much!
      Ray

      • Hi ray

        Did you get diagnosed as I have the exact symptoms as laura. I thought I was reading about myself! I am currently under investigation at the doctors. I have had an xray that didn’t show anything. Now waiting to go back at the end if the month to see what next step is.
        Many thanks
        Karen

    • Hi everyone
      I’ve had this exact same thing going on! I also thought I was reading about myself lol. Did you ever find out what it was??

  6. Hello all

    I had a back injury about 25 years ago when I was in my early thirties, I’m now 58. I eventually ended up seeing a chiropractor who advised me that I had mild scoliosis and should wear a heal lift (left foot) for the rest of my life. He also said to keep my weight low and swim (front crawl and back stroke only). I kept to this for most of the time but lapsed a bit with the heal lift and have recently had repeat symptoms basically as outlined in the article above and some of the dear readers experiences.

    What threw me today was I got sharp groin pains on my way to the doctor to discuss physiotherapy for what I thought was a groin strain…but then it all came back to me and while this is the first time I’ve heard of FAI (I think!?) unfortunately it sounds about right as it isn’t a hernia etc. Good luck to you all and don’t forgot that a bit of alternative therapy might help you/us as well! God bless you one and all.

  7. I Am 28 year , i had pain and tingling last 1 year in my Right buttocks to down thigh , i cant siting more then 15 minute, i have all required report done as suggest my doctor “MS otho” ,
    like X ray, MRI, i had also consult neurologist , and all report is ok ,
    doctor advice me , exerciser , but still not feel good

    • I’m paralyzed, and having the same problems in the side l have a little bit of feeling, and it causes me to have muscle spasms. I have no choice, but to sit and lay on it through out the day to prevent a presser soar on my other side. I’m a Quadriplegic so l can’t exercise!

  8. There are many reasons for hip pain. It may be due to Arthritis, Hip fractures, Hernia, Gynecological and back issues etc. But in the case of women, hip pain is the main symptom of femoral hernia. It occurs just below the inguinal ligament. It looks like a
    bulge in the upper part of the thigh besides the groin area. It is sometimes painful or painless. It can repair only through hernia surgery such as open or laparoscopic surgery. So if you have discomfort with a bad hip pain, then consult a hernia surgeon soon.

  9. My husband has these problems.. but the VA has done an xray and an mri and say they found nothing g.. we’re clueless on what to do. It hurts severely some days more then others and being they’re machines show nothing they refuse to do anythingm. He has trouble walking uses a cane when he has to go anywhere.. has trouble sleeping or anything else.. he can’t work he can’t anything.. wish we could find real help but stuck with just the VA

    • Johnnie Dunn Ward February 23, 2017 at 10:13 pm · Reply

      Brenda, call your State Senator or State Rep. that is over your state veterans benefits, whichever state you are in. I had to do this with my brother once; he was in AF and disabled but the govt continued to make him work. Once you get on the phone and start sending emails to the right people, often something will be done. If you have to, call D.C. and contact the ombudsman or veterans’ advocate. I wish you both well.

  10. I am 15 years old and I have really bad hip pain when I sit down or when I walk alot. Sometimes I am to the point where I want to cry.

  11. Pain can be a sign you need a rest.

  12. I have a history of lifting weights & had no pain whatsoever until recently. I used to use the seated leg press on an old universal every other day, I could maxx it out, do sets of reps, anything. Then it was gotten rid of. 8 years later, I am having not just pain but am having a hard time walking. There are no other machines that duplicate this motion & all I have available to me are free weights. ( I hurt my lower back 20 years ago, I avoid putting direct pressure on my spine) Since 2008, I have had changes in my hip joints that have shown up on x rays. Before that, I was really strong in my legs. My job is all motion, I rarely sit, maybe 20 minutes all day if that. Heavy lifting, hauling, rapid movement.

  13. I’ve been suffering from hip pain for a year now and it’s really starting to wear me down. I don’t go to the gym etc but I’m a fit healthy and take the dog a 2-3 mile walk at night. For the last year I’ve hardly been able to do this as either half way into the walk my right hip is in agony or if I manage the walk when I get home I’m in agony and it feels like everything has seized up. Sitting to standing (especially from lower chairs) feels near impossible. I can only lie on my front or back as when I go on my side (right is worse but either hurts) it feels like pressure builds up in the hip joint and it’s so sore. The pain wakes me up in the night if I roll onto my side. My whole right hip side feels like a dead sensation like the blood circulation has been cut off. I’ve been seeing my GP and the only answer appears to be pain meds. Had physio but it’s not improving the situation and now they are looking at injections. I really don’t want this I’m 36 I’d rather find out the cause rather than mask the symptoms with drugs. Does this sounds familiar to anyone or the symptoms of FAI. Thanks in advance

    • Well, with an injection, you could pinpoint exactly where your problem area is and then you can start reading on a solution for it.

    • Hello Shell,
      I know you posted this over a year ago but I’m going to reply anyway. For the past 2 years I have had the same hip problem. The pain has gotten worse and worse with time. I’m not able to do any exercises including hiking, cycling etc. I have to use a cane to get around. I am suppose to get a hip replacement but I have to wait for 11 months. I am so tired of being in pain. I take ibuprofen and refuse to take pain pills. Some nights I’m not able to sleep either. Maybe you need a hip replacement too.

    • Hi
      These are my symptoms exactly. This has been going on for over a year and now I am desperate, hence trolling the web sites. I have seen a osteopath and chiropractor who told me that my pelvis was out of alignhment. He gave me manipulation but it’s got worse. Now waiting to begin physio but thing I may acupuncture. Has anyone tried this for the pain. I am tired of taking pain killers which don’t seem to work.

      • Hi Judith, I had those same symptoms and I used Chiropractic and Acupuncture for the pain. The Acupuncture is good for relieving nerve pain. In the end I had my hip replaced and I am so happy without that pain. Good luck to you.

  14. AVN of the hip or hips can cause pain and the joint get less use able .MRI can find out if you have AVN of the hips or not

  15. you don’t need an MRI to tell if you have a labral tear (otherwise known as FAI). The symptoms listed on some sites for labral tear will let you know if you have this. I chose to go the non surgical route with specific excercises prescribed. It worked for awhile. But now that it is getting cooler and I am not as active as I was in the summer months I feel it coming back. So! back to the excercises and staying active.

  16. What exercises have worked for you? For almost a year, I have been doing my best to avoid surgery for a hip labral tear. I am a fit cross trainer, but have had to give up most of the activities I love. I been focused on building strength in the hip, buttocks and core to alleviate stress on the hip. If you have recommendation of specific exercises, I would love to hear.

  17. I got a xray they act like I its just arthritis.. Its hurt me so bad I’ve cried a lot . and finally my Dr agreed to do a MRI. I pray it shows what’s going on with my hip . I RA & its attached my back & neck . When it gets dark out it hurts worse . I’m 41 this is crazy I’m falling apart

  18. I would also love to know the exercises that have worked to strengthen the area. I am in such pain when this “flares up” it’s hard to imagine doing any exercise, but if it helps even a little bit I am willing to try. Thanks!

  19. I am currently 15 years old. I have had a bad right hip for the past 3 years now and it used to pop out and hurt a lot maybe like twice a year, then it went on to once every 3 months, to once every other month and now it happens weekly or more than once a week. It will pop out like I’ll feel the click and it will be painful to sit and it hurts to walk. My mom says I kind of waddle when my hip hurts. I’ve seen chiropractors for help to pop it into place, but it continues to pop out and give me pain. If anybody has any helpful answers or ideas please let me know, because it’s getting ridiculous how I’m constantly in pain.

    • my nephew had the same problem. he ended up having to get surgery to have pins put in his hip to keep it in place.he was about 15 when he had the surgery. hes still walking today

  20. Hi, I am thirteen years old and my outside of my right hip hurts. It hurts when I tighten the muscle or turn it inwards. It does not really hurt in turn out. I am a dancer (ballet and contemporary) but am currently on holiday. I have been stretching and going for runs and my hip does not hurt when I run. I go for sports massages which does make it feel much better and my physio says that it is probably just stiff. It nearly has a sharp pain when I turn it in or do some small full hip rotation . I also got saw knees on my first run but I think that was because I was stiff. I am just wondering if you think it is a serious injury or just tight ? I also feels quite tight in my bum and when I do butterfly stretch. Must I be worried about the sharp pains I sometimes get?

  21. Hi. I’ve been experiencing sharp flash pains on my frontal pelvic right side just below the belt line. They hit randomly and suddenly and last a few seconds only. However they do sometimes repeat themselves. Also sometimes I can feel a “pulsing” after a flash takes place. What can cause this?

  22. This is the first site I found that has the exact pain I’ve been searching About on Google for months. I’m 23 so when I say I have hip problems people just roll their eyes and laugh at me. My whole life my hip has popped with any movement. It sounds like someone snapping plastic. Sometimes it’s so loud that it scares me and people around me and shocks people when I tell them where the sound came from. It didn’t start bothering me until I got older but lately it’s worse then ever. Some days I cannot walk and I’m dragging my leg behind me. Other days it’s a terrible pain but I can still go on and take care of what needs to get done around the house. The more I stand in a day the more the hip pain spreads when I go to bed. It is so hard sometimes because there is a beautiful lake outside of my house and my toddler wants to run around and play with me and my hip is holding me back from having a great time with my kids.

  23. I saw an orthopedic surgeon last week and was told I have moderate arthritis and that what is calling my hip pain. But since then, I have almost fallen 4 times….barely catching myself. The pain is SO very intense that my leg actually gives out, and that almost makes me weep. The pain goes away after a while. After the last episode, I actually called my husband for help…. Sometimes I think I might need to get a cane….
    The doctor never brought up a FAI tear, but that is what I thought originally. I injured my hips swimming, doing a very aggressive frog kick.
    I am not sure what to do now. My doctor said that arthroscopy does not work on hips, so the only option would be a hip replacement. Does that seem right?

    • FAI and a labral tear are not the same thing. You can have a labral tear only without FAI. Often people with FAI have labral tears because of the impingement. In this case the tear is more like fraying because it is degenerative in nature. An Xray will show FAI but the FAI protocol has to be specified by the doctor who orders the xray AND the person reading the Xray needs to know what FAI is or it can be missed. An MRI will show FAI (cam or pincer or combination of both), it will also show a labral tear or fraying and also if there is a chondral tear which is indicative of arthritis. They will measure angles and do everything that will answer your questions about your hip pain, if it is hip pain and not REFERRED pain. If the MRI is done with dye then the results are more accurate. Hip pain can be referred pain from your back pain or SI joint and vice versa. Go to the doctor and ask for an Xray or to see a specialist. Then move on to MRI if required. Strengthen your core! Don’t sit for too long. If arthritis…then move! It will help. Go to a specialist that is an expert in FAI. There are manual tests that can be done to diagnose it and if negative you can possibly avoid Xray or mri. But FAI is not a labral tear! It is a malformed bone…either cam (usually bone growth on femur or pincer type(over coverage of acetebum )..look them up…they can cause labral tears but athletes especially can have a labral tear and NOT have FAI.

  24. I just started getting hip tightness and in the buttock right side.its really noticeable. I sit all day on my job.its. Feeling stiff whenever I do anything,i am an avid weightlifter. My body is breaking down now,im going to see an orthopedic from the VA when I can it might be a while what exercises cannot I do to keep it moving.8

  25. I have been in pain for 3 years. Had MRI, CT, Ultra Sound. Blood Work, This pain started between shoulder blades and went down through my bid cage. Then set into knees. Now in hip and knees hurt terrible. Told this severe pain is in my head by a Doctor. I saw with my own eyes sever inflamation on Left hip when radiologist showed me on film after doing hip Asperation. They were concerned about infection, Negative there. It is so bad tearing down my hip. No I go back to Rhumetologist Oct. 19th. Last night the pain so bad, cried myself to sleep, until sleeping pill kicked in.. I was a runner and worked out daily. Feel like my life has come to an end at 56. Please help me!! Do you have any advice?

    • Get yourself tested for Lyme Disease. pay for it yourself if you have to- send it out to alab in California called Iogenics. they can send you a kit. They have a very high accuracy rate for Lyme testing. You would not believe what a lot of people are going through around my neck of the woods suffering from misdiagnosed stupid Lyme disease! you sound just like a few other people i have talked to that have it. Good Luck

    • I’m suffering after taking cipro antibiotics. It can result in all those symptoms you described. There is a family of drugs called fluoroquinolones and if you react, you’ve been floxed. Maybe that didn’t happen to you, but do you remember taking antibiotics 3 years ago when your problems started? Your pharmacy should be able to look it up.

  26. I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this info for my
    mission.

  27. I am 39 im a women i been having hip pain for two years straight i wake up crying my face off in pain everytime i go see someone i get your just here for meds no one will listen i have popping sounds grinding sounds they go out of place when i walk a mile or ride a bike i cant get it in place stops me dead in my tracks i get groin pain pelvic pain lower back pain my sides go knumb in bed i cant sleep or get a few hours sleep the cold makes it worse it hurts to push on gas peddle when i drive or if i sit in a chair its frustrating and i dont know what to try but sick of pain im on no meds for it motrin warm baths heating pads non of this works any advice??

  28. Having intense hip pain traveling down to my knee. Only occurs when I’m walking. I do notice severe pain when I am trying to rotate my foot to change directions when standing ( this is the most severe pain I have ever felt) I have no pain when sitting or sleeping . Seeing doctor soon. Does anyone have something similar? Taking 8 Advil per day and doesn ‘t come close to helping. I need help!,,,,,

    • Billy I have the SAME thing PAIN when walking , no pain when sitting or sleeping, pain killers do not help so I have two little dog I have to walk them twice a day, I drive them to a park and WATCH them run while I sit, I am waiting for results of x rays, God luck.

  29. Hilary washington November 20, 2016 at 12:48 pm · Reply

    Startred having severe hip pain about 5 weeks ago out of no where now trying to sit or stand the pain is so bad I could cry very bad burning sensation goes down my left leg with stabbing pains has had a severe impact on every thing I do getting in or out of the car I don’t want to do it the pain is so bad they did X-rays of hips and spine shows slight arthritis sent me to chiropractor seemed to make it worse trying to sit on the toilet is terrible It burns so bad very deep ache right in hip joint I can only sleep on my back I pray for an answer.

  30. I have had terrible hip and back pain for months. Along with Phe repheral Neuropathy in both legs. When I sit I feel I am pressing on sores in my body. My hips hurt. When I rest on them. Difficulty and painful walking now as well. Blood tests all normal and no big problems on MRI or cat scan to cause this. Wearing me thin. HELP!

  31. Very painful hip and back pain especially when I am bending over and walking and stretching. I feel like I have sores in my body. Pain goes down upper legs sometimes. Not sciatica. Also pain on either side of vaginal area on those bones. Excruciating. Loss of appetite – never hungry. Noticed a bump or lump above my heel. PN bad on my right leg. Nothing of interest on MRI or blood tests. Also noticed small red pin size pimples on my legs and torso. Went to rheumatologist – waiting for blood labs. Had Lyme many years ago- retested for that but I say no way just too many years ago. Worried about some blood disorder but DR said say no!???? I have been to emergency room at least 7 times hoping to get a dr with some insight. The no appetite bothers me the most. HELP

  32. I have had terrible hip and back pain for months. Along with Phe repheral Neuropathy in both legs. When I sit I feel I am pressing on sores in my body. My hips hurts when I rest on them. Hurts like crazy when I bend over and when walking now as well. Blood tests all normal and no big problems on MRI or cat scan to cause this. Wearing me thin. Pain goes to groin and bones on either side of vagina. Been to emergency room 6 times. No help. Also no appetite – never hungry. Help anyone.

  33. I’ve been in pain for over 5 years have had 2 hip arthroscopes on the same hip now going to my 3 rd surgeon because the first two surgeries were unsuccessful. I cannot stand for long periods of time, sit, or lay down! I am worn out from being in pain 24/7 pain meds don’t really help anymore. I’m frustrated at this point.After 2 prior surgeries what usually is the course of action? Do they typically do a third labral tear surgery or is a hip replacement in my future?

  34. I pain in my hip go’s down my leg
    It will hit me so bad I will hit the grand it hearts in both .i need help I have been putting up with this for years.i can’t do much more.

  35. I was sitting on the couch, stood up too fast, and lost my balance. I stumbled and while trying to keep from falling, I stepped down really hard on my left leg. I didn’t fall, but I experienced a sharp, shooting pain that ran from the side of my left hip up to my waist. I had to grab onto something to keep from falling. After a few minutes, I was able to walk, but was in a lot of pain. It’s been about 8 hours now and the pain has subsided to a dull roar, but increases sharply when I stand up. It also hurts more when a walk than when I’m sitting down. I don’t know what happened, but I’ll probably see a doctor tomorrow if it still hurts. Maybe I tore something??

  36. Angel in Training February 11, 2017 at 7:01 pm · Reply

    For approximately 20 years, I have suffered from pain in my right hip after walking or standing.
    The pain is sharp. It is on the outer hip, directly at the joint. It occurs with movement mostly, but can also happen when standing and merely shifting weight. To me, felt like bone grinding against bone.

    Diagnosis: MRI of spine shows spinal stenosis, and a herniated disk in thoracic region.
    Previously advised of shallow hip sockets. X-rays of both hips 5-6 years ago showed no loss of cartilage or structural abnormalities. Everything ‘looked fine’.
    Nerve conduction study has ruled out nerve impingement.

    Recent X-ray of R hip: Irregularity of articular surface of acetabulum, possibly associated with lateral fragmentation. Inferiorly positioned osteophyte formation. Mild superior joint space narrowing. Soft tissue within normal limits.

    Diagnosis: non-specific arthritic changes of R hip.

    Originally, this pain would take upwards of an hour of consistent movement to set in. I would need to stop, lift my leg and roll my hip a few times to alleviate the sharp pain. But it would come back after further movement until eventually no hip rolling would make the sharp go away. Dull ache continued for hours after movement ceased.

    Fifteen years ago: MRI of back showed above diagnosis. Pain medicated prescribed. Walking/ movement time limited to less than 1 hour.

    Ten years ago: I started using a cane to walk. The sharp pain that accompanied stride or weight shift added to muscle spasms in the back. My time on feet was limited to 30 minutes before unable to continue movement. The cane is the only thing that kept me from literally crumbling to the ground when the pain would hit. In addition to the sharp pain with stride, my R leg would start to have a general ache, traveling towards knee and then ankle. Shifting into my car or my foot from gas to brake sometimes required physically lifting my leg with my hand. Pain medication again prescribed. (Tramadol 50mg x2, upto 3x/day; Soma 800mg, upto 3x/day. Naproxen 750mg upto 3x/day)

    Naproxen switched to Ibuprofen 3x/day. Later Meloxicam 15mgx1/day
    Soma switched to Flexeril within the last 2 years.

    Within the last 6 months that pain is present within minutes of standing and walking. I have developed muscle spasms in my lower R buttocks and R knee after 15 minutes of continuing to walk. Developed shin splints. Woken up twice laying on R side and unable to turn over or move without severe sharp pain. Felt like hip was out of socket. Manage to shift hip slightly, similar to hip roll, until it felt ‘right’ again. Ache stayed for days after.

    I’m now prescribed up to 400mg tramadol/day. Until latest x-ray showed some arthritic changes NO ONE has been able to give me a specific diagnosis to explain the pain. I can’t get medicaid to cover an MRI of the R hip, the only imaging not done to date. I can’t get mobility services from medicaid or independent living because there is no specific diagnosis to explain the pain. I can’t get medicaid to cover the functions test either, which would qualify me for mobility assistance. I can barely move around my own home. I can’t care for my own home. If my landlord or section-8 worker saw how I lived, I would lose my voucher. I have been on disability since 2011 backdated to 2009 when I filed. This voucher is all I have to keep a roof over my head.

    I’ve been bounced from orthopedic surgeon, to orthopedist, to water therapy (which did briefly increase the amount of time I could move before pain would present), to spinal orthopedic specialist to now pain management. At this point, the only option left is to agree to shots in my hip. I am highly phobic of needles and live alone. Just to be able to have the shot, I would need to dose myself up with xanax. Before I put myself through all that, I want someone to tell me WHY I have this pain. I need a diagnosis that gets me the services I need to maintain some semblance of independence. Can anyone give me an idea of what is going on?

  37. I’m only 15 gets old and every now and then I have had these awful jolts of pain in my right hip area. It has been happening a lot recently and it causes me to limp. I’ve read through the comments and everyone seems I be significantly older than I am, which worries me because I don’t want this to go untreated and end up being a bigger problem in the future.

    • Angel in Training February 23, 2017 at 11:35 pm · Reply

      Makenna,

      I won’t say that can’t happen but I will say this. Most people in puberty experience ‘growing pains’. That is literally what it is called. It is pain in joints from the body’s growth. Usually starts early teens and ends early 20s~ for girls, mid-20s~ for guys. The pain will appear in different parts of the body, depending on where growth is occurring at that phase in life. Areas with rapid growth hurt more.

      However, it isn’t unwise to ask your doctor about it. Here is something I can tell you as a female and someone who has been dismissed over my concerns. Document, document, document.

      Keep a diary of when the pain onsets. Get some of those body outlines and mark the spot where the pain is.
      Notate the type of pain: stabbing, aching, sharp, dull, numbness… you should find a standard list of pain types online fairly easily.
      Write down what you were doing when it started, how long it lasted, and what steps you took to relieve it (heat, sitting, medication, etc.)
      Experiment to figure out what type of movement you were doing when it comes: squatting, bending, flexing, forward movement, shifting movement, mid-stride… Was weight placed on it at the time? Does it cause your leg to quiver like it might give out? Does your hip lock up? Does the pain radiate to other areas?

      Look for patterns.

      Lastly, give it a pain scale measurement. One measurement while engaging the joint in whatever manner you were doing when it started, and the measurement after you applied whatever relief method. How long does the relief last?

      The more data you have on hand before seeing a doctor, the better.

  38. I’m 43 have been dealing with fibromyalgia and arthritis for several years now. Something has takin up residence in my hip this yr. I assume athritis, boy does it hurt!!, to walk, lay on sides, or lay anyway. Thought I was hurting already! When I was a girl I was in gymnastics, it was there I learned I had slip joints. I could slip my hips in and out of joint. So I did. I’m wonder if that could play a role in this as well. They made it sound like a good thing

  39. Angel in Training March 6, 2017 at 1:12 am · Reply

    Update:

    After all these years, I finally see an ortho who specializes in hips. I was referred from the ER after the last time my femur slipped out of place while I was asleep. I manipulated it back into place and went. When the office called to schedule the appointment, I nearly didn’t make one. The morning of, I almost didn’t go. But I am SO SO GLAD that I did!

    Finally I have a diagnosis. FAI and congenital hip dysplasia leading to early onset OA. I’m not crazy. It’s not from my back. It’s not because of my weight or lack of exercise (though weight doesn’t help, it’s kinda hard to exercise when there is a sharp pain in your hip). It wasn’t bursitis. It wasn’t a muscle strain. I was right when I said bone-on-bone. I KNEW that was what the pain was. I know the difference between muscle and bone pain.

    So happy to have a diagnosis. Even better, imaging studies will tell me how they will treat it and I have a real chance of going off pain management and my cane! I don’t know how long recovery will take, but I am so happy to just have a name for this thing.

    I understand that FAI didn’t exist in the medical books until after 2003. But I am flabbergasted that the orthopedist (he was clear in telling me that he was an orthopedist and not orthopedic doctor… something I guess about orthopedics are surgeons and he wasn’t?) didn’t catch this in 2010-2011 when he did a full set of hip xrays and was firm when he said there was no structural abnormalities, no missing cartilage, but he did notice the shallow hip sockets. Apparently shallow sockets are one of those tick marks for FAI and/or hip dysplasia? As in, if someone has them and has a history of pain, you should take a moment to do some math and maybe a better set of films if you can’t measure the angles well. The x-rays this guy saw said there was some definite angle issues. One too small (supposed to be 25+ degrees and mine is 18) and one too large.

    Anyhow, point of this is, don’t let yourself be second-guessed. If you have the same problem over and over and nothing to date has given an answer or relief, keep pushing for one.

    • I am glad you have diagnosis.
      I am 42 I’m a women I been have been dealing with fibromyalgia for several years now and now I having intense hip pain traveling down to my knee and back for 16 month straight, I go to bed crying my face off in pain.
      I’ve been bounced from orthopedic surgeon, to orthopedist to spinal and hip orthopedic specialist, Physiatrist, physical Therapy to now pain management, I have been taking so many pain killers of course I have taken Blood tests all normal and no big problems, MRI and nothing shows where the pain comes from. Since I was 19 I had some X-rays that reflect a problem with the angles and also leg length discrepancy (2.3 cm) … and the Doctors still cannot treat me.
      I spend much of the day in a seated position, working on a computer 8 hours and 2 hours driving… which is killing me right now, I am desperate and want to quit everything, but I cant $$.
      I am glad you have diagnosis.
      I am 42 I’m a women I been have been dealing with fibromyalgia for several years now having intense hip pain traveling down to my knee and back pain for 16 month straight, I go to bed crying my face off in pain.
      I’ve been bounced from orthopedic surgeon, to orthopedist to spinal and hip orthopedic specialist, Physiatrist, physical Therapy to now pain management, I have been taking so many pain killers of course I have taken Blood tests all normal and no big problems, MRI and nothing shows where the pain comes from.
      I spend much of the day in a seated position, working on a computer 8 hours and 2 hours driving, which is killing me.
      Since I was 19 years old an x-ray shows some issues with my angles, also a leg length discrepancy( 2.3cm) but the Drs. still don’t know what to do with me and each other send me to a different specialist because they don’t know how to treat me.
      I am worn out from being in pain 24/7 pain … believe me; I am glad that you have diagnosis, I want to have a name for this thing.

    • Hi there. Thank you! I have finally found your post that sounds a lot like my boyfriends problem ! He is on pain meds but they are not working!!! It breaks my heart to see him in this state as he has given up the things he loved doing such as walking, dancing, etc. Up to a few months ago he was walking for an hour every day and used the stairs a lot. He’s been to the doc who have sent him for an xray , he’s had the injection which did absolutelty nothing and all they tell his is that he has mild arthritis! Over these past couple of weeks I have seen a big change in him … I don’t know how he manages as he is only getting 2 to 3 hours of sleep each night.
      Curious how you are doing after a couple of months treatment. : )

  40. I have had hip pain for a couple years. Sometimes it is right hip,low back pain and groin but most often it is low back and horrible right hip pain. Usually the hip Aches all the time but anytime after sitting, laying it feels horribly stiff. When getting up from sitting I feel like my body is crooked like one hip is higher than the other. Occasionally just under my right buttock has a deep pain! I have been told once it was bursitis but thru the years it is getting much worse. Do I go to primary care, walk in or ortho?

  41. I have intermittent weight bearing hip pain. They ran xray and mri. The xray results said I have an 3cm oval spot on my femoral neck. Said I have cancer. Doc did mri and said they read normal hip, but on on sequence of mri showdown fibroid tumor. I need help. Don’t know what else to do. Times I can’t walk pain is soooo oops bad. Any imputed would be appreciated.

  42. Hi ,
    I am 24 I am having a stabbing paining in left lower hip more towards the side for past two month. It comes and goes from time to time. It tells like a pointed pain deep inside. Can anyone tell what my symptoms mean

  43. I have been going to a chiropractor on an off for 5 years. My sciatic nerve always gives me fits and my hip is away out of tilted. Now for about 3 weeks my right outer part of my hip and a little down my thigh is hurting. Never have felt this pain before, some days are better than others. I am a school teacher so I am on my feet a lot. Just curious if anyone else has felt these same symptoms and what to do about it.

  44. Had pain In my hip and knee NOW over a year had xray says arthritis but tbh I feel something wrong it’s flaring up can’t sleep sit walk . Feel like someone is stabbing a knife in me a constantly twisting it. The doctors put me 2 different types of morphine doesn’t work fed up of crying 😢 can’t do anything loss of appetite lost alot of weight. The pain is severe plz anyone suffering and got a diagnosis

  45. 74 yr old woman with unrelenting hip/leg pain. I have spinal stenosis with bulging discs at lumbar level. Had spinal lamectomy L-3, 4, 5 -, 6 mo. ago. Pain in lower left leg and now left hip have become unbaeable. Worst time begins late afternoon until 11 or12 pm. Subsides some through the night. Since the surgery I have developed moderate venous insufficiency in this lower leg with developing bulging veins. Ultrasound & MRI show no blood clots. Am scheduled for cortisone inj. in spine, waiting for appt. date to arrive. I feel helpless and becoming hopeless for my future. Why are so many of us not being helped by mainstream medicine?

  46. I recommend those of you without answers go and visit an orthopedist, chiropractor and massage therapist at your closest teaching hospital. Dont give up on getting answers.

  47. Kelly Sullivan July 25, 2017 at 6:02 pm · Reply

    I am 58 and had 4 back surgery have worked heavy mant. for36 yrs and still do when I get on my knees
    es or in a position like to ride a motorcycle I have severe pain in left hip have lost feeling in left foot since back surgery 1.5 yrs ago the hip pain is bad until I straightened my leg my back surgeon wanted to disable me last surgery but I threw a fit but this hip thing is a killer what should I do

  48. Severe hip groin and thigh pain along with sharp pain in groin,,I want to see a doctor that can fix ongoing issue!! Please help

    Darcy Reese Reister
    Dtd912@aol.com

  49. I’ve already had left hip replacement. Now right is giving me the exact pain. Twisting foot to the outside,lying in bed and foot and leg relax to side, walking,crossing legs and sudden stops ache deep in my outer hip area and groin. Sometimes makes whole leg ache and throb if not moved. Does this mean replacement on this one? Tired of the pain all day and night. Guess time for Ortho visit and MRI to answer everything.. thx all.

  50. Please helprin had my hip pined March 2017 . Now when I get in bed and turn it’s very painful. Don’t get much sleep . Just gone back to work and I feel drained all the time plus sometimes I get pain down the left side off my head . Is this normal?

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About the Author

Ritesh Shaw
Ritesh Shaw

Dr. Ritesh Shaw is an orthopedic surgeon at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. His approach to patient care starts with empathy and aims to get patients back to being active: “Each person is an individual and should have treatment catered to his or her particular needs. With contemporary training in hip and knee disorders in adults and young adults, I believe in educating the patient and their family on their natural disease process, alternatives in treatment options, and expected outcomes of surgical and non-surgical treatment to allow patients to make better-educated decisions.”

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