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The hip joint is the joint near your pelvis that supports the weight of your body. It also helps you retain balance as you move around. The hip joint is one of the largest joints in the body. It is vulnerable to injuries and a condition called osteoarthritis, which is caused by normal wear and tear on the joint.

Symptoms of common hip problems include:

  • Pain
  • Loss of motion of the hip
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty walking

If you have hip problems, your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic specialist. Orthopedics [awr-thuh-pee-diks] is the branch of medicine that treats injuries or other problems with the bones, joints, or muscles in your body.

To diagnose your hip problem, your doctor will do an examination and discuss your symptoms. Your doctor may also order imaging studies, such as x-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans to further investigate the problem.

In many cases, hip problems can be corrected with anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, steroid injections, or surgery. Talk with your doctor about which treatment is right for you.

Things You Need to Know

The Intermountain Healthcare Orthopedic Specialty Group works with patients to treat many types of hip problems, including:

  • Hip pain
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Total hip replacement surgery
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Abductor tears
  • Deep gluteal syndrome

When to See a Doctor

You should call your doctor as soon as possible if you have any of the following:

  • Sudden hip pain
  • Chronic (long lasting) hip pain
  • A fall or injury that causes hip pain
  • A popping noise in the hip joint during a fall or other injury
  • Inability to walk or put weight on your hip after a fall or injury

A broken or fractured hip from a fall or injury is a serious condition at any age. In most cases, it will require surgery. Complications associated with a broken hip may become life threatening, depending on your age and overall health. If you suspect you have a broken or fractured hip, call your doctor right away.