Hip arthritis can be a very painful condition that makes life difficult for many people. Normally, following symptoms of prolonged pain or tenderness in the hip joint, it is formally diagnosed after a clinical assessment by a GP and an X-ray.
However, sometimes the pain of hip arthritis can be misleading. This is because the distribution of pain can be more widespread. It can even be felt in the knee, and mistaken for other conditions.
Here, we will look at why patients often experience knee pain when they have hip arthritis, and the best ways to manage it.
Why does hip arthritis cause knee pain?
The reason you may seek a diagnosis for hip arthritis is experiencing pain in and around the hip joint that lasts more than a few days. But, pain relating to hip arthritis can be felt in one or more parts of the body including in the groin, the front of the hip, lower back and even in the knee.
The main symptoms of hip arthritis include:
- Pain and tenderness in the hip joint
- Joint stiffness after sitting or lying down for a long period of time
- Difficulty in performing daily activities
- A feeling of bone rubbing against bone
When you have hip arthritis, inflammation of the tissues and nerves can occur. This causes pain initially in the hip, but can refer to the knee. This usually follows the distribution of the saphenous nerve, which branches from the femoral nerve. However, the obturator nerve which passes from the hip to the inside of the knee can also cause referred pain.
Get your knee pain checked
If you have knee pain without any symptoms of hip arthritis such as stiffness, then it is very unlikely that you have hip arthritis. But, you could have knee arthritis – another very painful condition that affects the knee joint, caused by inflammation that develops over time due to cartilage damage. It can also lead to other problems including swelling and muscle weakness in the legs, when left untreated and can cause mobility issues, usually later in life.
When you have knee pain, it is best to get a confirmed diagnosis of the cause so that you can look at the best treatment options. You can request X-Ray imaging from your GP, that should confirm a diagnosis of arthritis. Imaging can also help you understand the nature and extent of damage, and your doctor can check your joint movement and function.
Treating your knee or hip arthritis
When you have a diagnosis of arthritis, the next best step is to organise a consultation with experienced knee and hip surgeon, Mr Punwar. You can discuss treatment options, including lifestyle changes, medications, physiotherapy and whether joint replacement surgery would be the best option for you.
If you are experiencing knee pain, hip pain, or a combination of symptoms, consult Mr Shah Punwar today.