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Hip rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis of the hip can cause symptoms including pain, stiffness and swelling.

Hip rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to discomfort and stiffness in the thigh, lower back and groin.

Other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include fatigue, appetite loss, fever and pain, swelling and stiffness in other joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can come on gradually or suddenly. You may have no hip pain at first, but then awaken with aching hips, lower back and groin pain.

What causes hip rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as an autoimmune disease. People with rheumatoid arthritis have a problem with their immune system, whicht attacks the patient's own body. Although the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known, experts believe the following may play a role:

  • Genetics
  • Environmental factors
  • Hormones


How is hip rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?

To make a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor will do a physical examination, take a medical history and arrange tests such as blood tests and X-rays.

Other tests that may be helpful in diagnosing hip rheumatoid arthritis include:

What's the treatment for hip rheumatoid arthritis?

Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These drugs are used with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs) and/or corticosteroids in low doses. Some of the most commonly prescribed DMARDs are sulfasalazine, methotrexate, leflunomide, and hydroxychloroquine.

Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blockers are another type of DMARD to help ease symptoms more quickly. These include infliximab, etanercept, certolixumab, tocilizumab, rituximab and adalimomab.

NSAIDs may also be used to treat hip rheumatoid arthritis. NSAIDs may be over the counter or prescription strength.

Is exercise important for hip rheumatoid arthritis?

Regular exercise is important for hip rheumatoid arthritis. Exercise strengthens muscles that support joints.

Exercise also helps you stay flexible. This is important to help prevent painful falls.

Physiotherapy can help you learn ways to move without pain or injury. Occupational therapy is helpful to learn easier ways to perform activities of daily living, such as dressing, cooking, eating or cleaning.

What about surgery for hip rheumatoid arthritis?

Hip surgery is an option when severe pain or joint destruction causes immobility.

For patients with earlier stage rheumatoid arthritis of the hip, arthroscopy may help to ease pain. Arthroscopy is done with a thin tube connected to a light source through a small surgical incision.

For more severe disease, total joint replacement may be recommended. It's estimated that about 80% of patients will have good results for 12-15 years after hip replacement. Most patients have little pain after this surgery.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on August 03, 2016

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