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Feature Article

Hip pain throughout the lifespan

SEAN R.M. WILLIAMS, STANLEY SEAH, Lyn March

Figures

© ALBINA GLISIC/SHUTTERSTOCK
© ALBINA GLISIC/SHUTTERSTOCK

Abstract

Hip pain may arise from inflammation or injury of the many structures in and around the hip joint and may also be referred from distant spinal or intra-abdominal structures. The most common causes vary between age groups and by sex.

Key Points

  • Not all pain that the patient calls hip pain is coming from their hip; true hip joint pain is more commonly felt in the groin.
  • The cause of hip pain can usually be identified based on a thorough history and physical examination.
  • History taking should focus on the cardinal features of a patient’s pain, with special attention to the exact site, time course, associated features and functional profile.
  • Systematic examination follows the basic process of look, feel, move.
  • Choosing the appropriate imaging modality can help to rule diagnoses in or out, but inappropriate imaging may be misleading.
  • Hip conditions are complex and vary greatly between the paediatric, adolescent, middle-aged and older-age populations.
  • Be alert for a child with a limp and a fever as possible septic arthritis or osteomyelitis require urgent attention.

Figures

© ALBINA GLISIC/SHUTTERSTOCK
© ALBINA GLISIC/SHUTTERSTOCK