Hip Joint Inflammation Definition and Meaning

Hip joint inflammation, also known as coxitis, is a very painful condition for those affected. A rocking gait is therefore characteristic, with which an attempt is made to keep the pain during movement as low as possible.

What is hip joint inflammation?

According to abbreviationfinder, hip pain is one of the most common joint pains. The muscles, nerves or internal organs in the hip area are rarely the cause.

In the case of hip joint inflammation, a distinction is made between infectious and non-infectious inflammation. In both types, however, there are inflammatory reactions in the hip area, which lead to severe pain and restricted mobility.

To reduce the pain while walking, people with hip joint inflammation often bend over and spread the affected leg outwards and bend it slightly.

Due to the deep location of the joint in the body, there is rarely any detectable warming or reddening. In contrast, hip joint inflammation often leads to general malaise, fever or chills.


Infectious hip joint inflammation is caused by pathogens. These are mostly staphylococci or streptococci. These get into the hip joint from the outside and cause the inflammatory reactions there.

Such an infection with bacteria can be caused by joint punctures, injections into the affected joint, open fractures or surgical interventions on the hip joint.

However, it is also possible for the pathogens to be transmitted via the bloodstream. Here, the bacteria from an infection elsewhere in the human body get to the hip joint with the blood. Not only tooth infections, for example, but also infectious diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea or tuberculosis are conceivable. Such a transmission of the pathogens is to be feared, however, mostly only in the case of delayed or non-limitable sources of infection.

A non-infectious inflammation of the hip joint can be a rheumatic disease, an overuse reaction or the result of osteoarthritis of the hip joint.

Furthermore, an overactive or underactive thyroid gland, gout, hemophilia or hemochromatosis can lead to hip joint inflammation.

Typical Symptoms & Signs

Inflammation of the hip joint manifests itself through various symptoms. At the beginning of the disease, there is usually a slight feeling of illness, which increases in intensity as the disease progresses. There are often side effects such as joint pain or fever.

The inflammatory reactions can also cause gait disorders and other movement restrictions. In most cases, those affected are no longer able to move normally. Sitting in particular can cause severe pain, which can spread to other parts of the body as the disease progresses. If the course is severe, the severe, often stabbing pain radiates to the back and neck.

Externally, hip joint inflammation can be recognized by the conspicuous gait, which is usually described by those affected as rocking and unsteady. In addition, there can be visible redness, which is occasionally associated with swelling. The symptoms can cause sleep problems and thus often have an impact on the mental state of the patient.

Sufferers are often irritable and in a low mood, especially with chronic illness and repeated inflammation. Hip joint inflammation usually occurs suddenly and increases in intensity within a few days. With prompt treatment, the symptoms subside within a week or two.

Diagnosis & History

The diagnosis of hip joint inflammation is not always easy. First of all, the medical history is used to determine whether there are previous illnesses that may have caused the inflammation. If there are side effects such as back pain, other joint pains or fever, these can be indications of rheumatic diseases or septic coxitis.

Ultrasound, X-ray, CT or MRI examinations can be helpful examination methods. These may show inflammatory reactions of the soft tissues or arthrosis of the hip joint. A blood test can detect a rheumatic process or an infection. During a joint puncture, various sources of inflammation can be detected.

In the further course of hip joint inflammation, the pain usually increases and the restriction of movement increases. The infection can also spread.


Hip joint inflammation usually causes severe pain and restricted movement. The pain can spread from the hips to other regions and continue to cause problems in the back and neck. The gait is rocking and unsteady, with pain usually occurring with every movement.

In addition to hip pain, joint pain can also occur, which also leads to restrictions in movement and in everyday life. Those affected are often no longer able to carry out their professional activities. It is not uncommon for fever and inflammation to occur in addition to the pain. Without treatment, hip joint inflammation does not go away on its own and the symptoms usually get worse.

Hip joint inflammation can also lead to rest pain at night and thereby restrict the patient’s sleep. Difficulty sleeping often leads to irritability in the patient. Hip joint inflammation is usually treated with the help of antibiotics and always leads to a positive course of the disease. Therapy may still be necessary to restore the mobility of the body. The disease does not reduce life expectancy.

When should you go to the doctor?

Symptoms of hip joint inflammation must be clarified promptly by a doctor. If hip pain, restricted mobility, gait disorders and other typical signs occur, medical advice is required. The affected person should consult a doctor at the latest when normal movements are only possible with great effort and pain. Furthermore, a medical examination is necessary if accompanying symptoms such as fever or an increasing feeling of illness are noticed. If complications such as falls or severe pain occur, a visit to the hospital is indicated.

In less severe cases, you can go to the family doctor first with the symptoms. People suffering from infectious diseases such as gonorrhea or tuberculosis are prone to spreading the virus to the hip joints. The symptoms often have another cause, such as a rheumatic disease or an overload reaction, which must be identified and eliminated. Other contacts are the orthopedist and various internists. In the event of a medical emergency, such as a fall or a high fever, the emergency doctor and medical emergency service are the right people to contact.

Treatment & Therapy

An infectious hip joint disease must be treated immediately, otherwise there is a risk of permanent damage to the joint. First, the joint is punctured to drain pus and infectious fluid. The joint can then be rinsed. In severe cases, it may be necessary to evacuate the inflamed joint and then place a drain.

The pathogens are first fought with a broad-spectrum antibiotic and, after a precise determination, with the appropriate dose of antibiotics . Immobilization of the joint is helpful to promote the healing process and minimize pain. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs can also be administered.

In the case of non-infectious hip joint inflammation, the treatment of the underlying disease should be considered first. Further measures are similar to the treatment of infectious hip joint inflammation. In the case of an underlying rheumatic disease, the removal of the synovial membrane is particularly important in order to stop the inflammatory reaction.

Physiotherapy, acupuncture, and physical therapy can aid healing, increase the sufferer’s sense of well-being, and improve prognosis. If the hip joint inflammation has already caused extensive damage to the hip joint, the use of a hip joint replacement may become necessary.


Hip joint inflammation is difficult to prevent. Known underlying conditions should be treated thoroughly to prevent spread to the hip joint. Malpositions must be corrected at an early stage to avoid overloading the hips.

Adhering to hygiene regulations can help to contain infectious hip joint inflammation, but it can never be completely avoided. A surgical intervention in a joint always involves a certain risk of infection.


The aftercare for a hip joint inflammation consists first of all in that the patients rest physically for a prescribed period of time. This protection is also relevant after a successful therapy of the hip joint inflammation, as otherwise problems can develop again. Follow-up care also means that patients regularly attend check-ups from their doctor.

Both the condition of the hip joint and the blood values ​​are examined. In particular, the inflammation values ​​provide the doctor with important information about the patient’s state of health after successfully treated hip joint inflammation. In general, careful follow-up care for this disease in many cases requires patients to change their sporting habits in order not to provoke new inflammation.

For people who want to continue to do a lot of sport, we recommend contacting a fitness advisor. This creates a training plan adapted to the previous illness, which takes into account the reduced physical resilience and damage to the hip joint. In general, follow-up care includes that those affected undergo physiotherapy even after successful treatment.

After completing these training units, it is advisable for the patients to attend medical sports courses in order to further strengthen the hip joint. You make a significant contribution to successful aftercare. This also includes sensitivity to the symptoms of renewed hip joint inflammation, which must be treated immediately.

You can do that yourself

To alleviate the symptoms, it is helpful if overloading and overstraining the hips, pelvis or back is avoided. In order for an inflammation to heal as quickly as possible and without further complications, the organism needs rest and a stable immune system. The latter is necessary in order to be able to build up sufficient defenses for the healing process.

A balanced diet rich in vitamins is important for a healthy immune system . Excessive fats should be avoided and regular exercise should take place. Sporting activities promote general well-being, prevent obesity and strengthen the muscles. The supply of toxins and harmful substances through alcohol or nicotine is to be avoided. Sufficient sleep and good sleep hygiene are necessary to maintain life energy.

The hip joint should not be loaded on one side. Carrying heavy objects and rigid postures when sitting or standing should be avoided. Joints must be moved at regular intervals to prevent possible discomfort. In addition, they must be provided with sufficient heat and protected from prolonged exposure to cold. When moving, make sure that you wear healthy shoes so that you do not create any unwanted malpositions. Wearing high-heeled shoes for a long time or walking barefoot puts stress on the hips and leads to inflammation, pain and discomfort.

Hip Joint Inflammation

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