Hip osteoarthritis and hyaluronic acid injection

Hip osteoarthritis and hyaluronic acid injection

Nov 27, 2022

Przemyslaw Tempczyk


The hip joint is one of the most important joints in the human body. It plays a critical role in daily activities such as weight lifting, walking, running, jumping and retaining balance. The hip joint is one of most flexible joints with a great range of motion in the human body. It bears the force of the strong muscles of the hip and leg. Anatomically, the hip joint is made up of two bones: the pelvis and the femur- the thighbone.

It is the largest ball-and-socket synovial joint in the human body. The ball is the femoral head, and the socket is a concave depression in the lower side of the pelvis called the acetabulum. The femoral head fits into the acetabulum to form the hip joint with flexibility for motion.

 The round head of the femur rotates and glides within the acetabulum. The depth of the acetabulum is further increased by a fibro-cartilaginous labrum attached to the acetabulum. The neck of the femur connects the femoral head with the shaft of the femur.

The capsular ligament of the hip joint attaches to the posterior part of the femoral neck. At the top of the femur, next to the femoral neck, there is another bump on the outside of the hip called the greater trochanter, to which muscles attach. The greater trochanter serves as the site of attachment for the abductor muscles. The stability of the hip is increased by the strong ligaments that encircle the hip. The muscles of the thigh and lower back work together keep the hip stable, aligned and moving. A slippery tissue called articular cartilage covers the surface of the ball and socket. Cartilage helps prevent friction between the femoral head and the acetabulum, and hip pain can occur if cartilage begins to wear down or is damaged.

Its proper functioning is conditioned by mutual sliding of normal cartilage covering both articular surfaces, which is facilitated by the synovial fluid present in the joint. Thanks to this, a person is able to move properly. Osteoarthritis of the hip joint is most often associated with "wear" changes in the cartilage and the appearance of abnormal bone growths so-called osteophytes. Such changes occur in the human body with age. This is then referred to as primary osteoarthritis of the hip joint. Osteoarthritis can also occur as a consequence of childhood joint diseases, dysplasia, injuries and some diseases affecting the whole body such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Main symptoms

  • Decreased range of motion in the hip that affects the ability to walk and may cause a limp
  • Pain in the groin or thigh that radiates to your buttocks or your knee
  • Stiffness in the hip joint that makes it difficult to walk or bend
  • Grinding noise during the movement caused by loose fragments of the cartilage and other tissue interfering with the smooth motion of the hip
  • Feeling the locked hip during the movement
  • Pain while sleeping time, unable to sleep or lying on the painful side

Based on recent research, one of the causes of osteoarthritis of the hip may be also the lack or deficiency of synovial fluid inside the joint. That’s why as a first treatment offered in the Physiotherapy or Orthopaedic Clinic is hyaluronic injection. Due of the hip size the minimum numbers of sessions states as a three.

The main purpose of hyaluronan injection is lubricate the whole joint, protection and delay the progress of the changes around the joint area, increase mobility of the patient, pain relief.

The success of this method depends on the condition of the individual patient. If the changes are early, success is more likely than at an advanced stage. Therefore it is very important to diagnose the problem in the right time, eliminating all risk factors such as overweight, unhealthy lifestyle. That’s why the best option is to see the Physiotherapist or GP Doctor as early as the symptoms starts show up.