The hip is a deep-seated ball-and-socket joint primarily designed for stability which can be injured in many ways. In adults, degenerative changes can lead to osteoarthritis, whilst deformities of the neck of the femur (thigh bone) or socket can lead to impingement, or pinching between the two boney parts of the joint.
The labrum, which forms a seal around the socket of the joint and increases its depth to improve stability, can also be injured. This might be acute, through kicking and twisting, for example, or the result of wear and tear.
Another common complaint, which used to be described as greater trochanteric bursitis, occurs when a small, fluid-filled sac causes pain when it becomes inflamed between a tendon and a bone. However we now know that the pain can come from a tendon that lies over the sac; even MRI sometimes struggles to differentiate between the two.
Other hip conditions include muscle strains and problems originating in the lower back.
As with most conditions, expert, early diagnosis and treatment are essential in order to ensure a speedy recovery.