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What is causing your hip pain?

Chronic pain in the hip area can be caused by a number of health conditions, but osteoarthritis is considered to be the leading source of this type of pain.

Osteoarthritis affects more than 28 million people in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. While osteoarthritis can occur in various parts of the body, joints that hold weight—such as the hip and knee—are more susceptible to its effects.

“Each hip is composed of a ball and socket, which are covered by cartilage. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in the hip area to deteriorate, resulting in pain that becomes increasingly worse over a period of time,” said Dr. W. Cason Shirley, an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Maury Regional Medical Center.


W. Cason Shirley, M.D.
is an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Maury Regional Medical Center.  He is associated with Mid-Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic in Columbia, Tennessee. Dr. Shirley specializes in hip and knee replacements, including robotic-arm assisted procedures.


Osteoarthritis is typically a gradual progression. As osteoarthritis worsens, it can become increasingly difficult to do regular activities such as climbing stairs, walking or standing for a period of time.

Discomfort related to osteoarthritis affecting the hip area can include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the hip joint
  • The feeling of bone-against-bone rubbing together
  • Difficulty with daily activities
  • Stiffness after sleeping or sitting
  • Decreased range of motion

These and other symptoms affecting one’s use of the hip joint should be evaluated by a physician to confirm whether osteoarthritis is the cause. Pain that cannot be relieved in other ways may benefit from surgical treatment to replace part or all of the hip joint to repair damage from osteoarthritis and relieve pain.