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.
- 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.