What is Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hip Joint?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory arthritis referring to a chronic autoimmune disease that causes progressive inflammation within the joints. This resluts in painful deformation and altered mobility. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue, including the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis affects joint linings which causes painful swelling. Over long periods of time, the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can cause bone erosion and joint deformity.

In the hip, Rheumatoid Arthritis presents bilaterally (which means it affects both hips). Rheumatoid Arthritis causes inflammation of the synovial membrane, the capsule surrounding the hip joint. Inflammatory cells release substances that break down hip cartilage over time. The onset of rheumatoid arthritis in the hip occurs in 4 stages. Stage one consists of minor wear and tear of the hip joints and minor bone spurs, often there is little to no pain. Stage two consists of the cartilage beginning to break down, and bone spur growths are often visible on X-rays. There is most often pain, discomfort and stiffness in the hip. Stage three consists of the cartilage starting to erode and the gap between the hip bones narrows. Normal activities such as walking, kneeling or squatting cause pain and swelling. Stage 4 is the most severe stage and it consists of the cartilage almost gone, which causes chronic inflammation. Pain and stiffness are felt almost all of the time.

It typically presents in middle-aged females as hip pain with associated local swelling, pain and limited range of motion. Other symptoms may include pain or aching in the hip joint, stiffness in the hip joint, tenderness and swelling in and around the hip joint, the same symptoms on both sides of the body, weight loss, fever, fatigue or tiredness, weakness.

If you’re suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, we have a team who is ready to help you and get you on the road to recovery. Book an appointment with Precision Health today!

Call us on (02) 9639 7337 or book online.

Lachiewicz, PF. Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hip. J Am Acad Orthop Surg; 1997 Nov-. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10795068/

Johns Hopkins Medicine. Hip Arthritis. Johns Hopkins University; 2023-. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/hip-arthritis#:~:text=Rheumatoid%20arthritis%20(RA)%20is%20a,down%20hip%20cartilage%20over%20time.

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