Hip Pain

Living with chronic hip joint pain can make everyday activities such as walking, standing up and sitting down uncomfortable or impossible. If your hips ache while performing physical activity, slow down. Pushing through hip pain may worsen it. Anti-inflammatory medicines may give you temporary relief, but it’s best to consult with a hip doctor in Memphis, TN to get to the root cause of your hip pain.

Let Us Help Relieve Your Hip Pain

At Saint Francis Hospital, our compassionate hip pain specialists in Memphis can provide you with the appropriate diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for your condition. We are dedicated to offering minimally invasive treatments for hip conditions wherever possible. With surgical techniques like arthroscopy, many hip injuries can be diagnosed and repaired via outpatient care, allowing you to return to your activities as soon as possible or even prevent more invasive procedures.

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Hip Pain Diagnosis

Coming to the most accurate diagnosis is one of the first steps in proper treatment for your hip. We offer a wide range of tests and screenings to diagnose hip problems accurately. Our hip doctors in Memphis may perform the following diagnostic tests to diagnose you properly:

  • Imaging
    • Radiography
      • X-ray
      • Computed tomography (CT) Scan
    • Open high-field Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
    • Ultrasound
    • Bone density scan
    • Nuclear medicine bone scan
  • Blood tests
  • Physical examination;
    • Gait testing
    • Hip range-of-motion testing
    • Flexion, abduction, external rotation (FABER) test or Patrick test
    • Flexion, adduction, internal rotation (FADIR) test or impingement test
    • Log roll test
    • Straight leg raises against resistance test or Stinchfield test
    • Ober test

The Hip Anatomy

The hip joint is composed of a ball (femoral head) and socket (acetabulum). The femoral head (upper end of the thigh bone) fits into the acetabulum. The articular cartilage coats the surface of the ball and socket, creating a smooth and frictionless surface so that the bones glide over each other.

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis happens when joint cartilage wears away and starts to break down, decreasing the space between the bones. As a result, bones rub on each other, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. It can make everyday activities such as walking, going upstairs or standing up hard.
Osteoarthritis most frequently occurs in the knees, hands and hips. Even though osteoarthritis usually occurs in people 50 years old and above, younger people can develop it, too. Here are some risk factors that can contribute to the development of the disease:

  • Getting older
  • Family history of osteoarthritis
  • Obesity
  • Previous hip joint injury
  • Hip developmental dysplasia or improper hip joint formation at birth
  • People can still develop osteoarthritis even if they do not have these risk factors. Osteoarthritis can worsen over time, so start
  • your treatment as early as possible. Currently, there is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are treatment options that can help
  • you stay active and manage your pain.


  • Hip pain that worsens over time
  • Sudden onset of hip pain
  • Pain in the thigh or groin radiating to the knee or buttocks
  • Pain that flares up with intense activity
  • Hip joint stiffness
  • Increased joint pain with cold weather
  • Decreased range of motion in the hip

What Is Arthroscopic Hip Surgery?

Hip arthroscopy is a surgical hip pain treatment that allows the doctor to inspect the hip joint and its damage on a video monitor. A surgeon will insert an arthroscope or small camera through an incision to diagnose the hip joint’s condition and plan its treatment. The surgeon uses the video monitor display to guide their instruments during surgery.

When Is Hip Arthroscopy Needed?
Nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy, rest, injections and medications may ease your joint pain. However, if nonsurgical treatments do not provide relief, a hip specialist in Memphis, TN may recommend hip arthroscopy to relieve painful symptoms caused by damage to the articular cartilage, labrum or other soft tissues in the joint. Other conditions that may lead to hip pain include:

  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI): where extra bone forms along the femoral head or acetabulum.
  • Dysplasia: a condition wherein the hip socket is abnormally shallow.
  • Snapping hip syndrome: occurs when you hear a click or popping sound when you move your hip joints. This is usually harmless, but some people may also experience pain along with snapping hips.
  • Synovitis: occurs when the synovium, a protective tissue that lubricates the joint, becomes inflamed.
  • Loose bodies or small, loose cartilage or bone fragments that float around the joint.
  • Hip joint infection.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Arthroscopic Hip Surgery?

After arthroscopic hip surgery, you may remain in the recovery room for one to two hours before being discharged from the hospital. Your doctor may prescribe pain relief medicines such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids and local anesthetics. Although opioids can relieve pain after surgery, use them only as directed by your doctor. Opioids are narcotics and can be addictive.

To lessen the risk of blood clots, your doctor may recommend aspirin. You may have to use crutches for some time after your surgery. Talk to your surgeon about an appropriate rehabilitation plan for you. If your surgery has been more extensive, you may need crutches for up to two months. As soon as you recover and are cleared by a doctor, you may stop using them. 
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy. Ask your doctor or physical therapist for specific exercises that may restore your mobility and strength.

What Is Hip Replacement?

Hip replacement involves using artificial implants to replace the damaged joints and simulate the function of a typical joint. The surgeon will remove the damaged ball or femoral head and cartilage from the hip socket. A ceramic or metal ball will replace the original ball. Then a metal cup will replace the socket and be fixed to the acetabulum.

If you need hip replacement surgery, we offer minimally invasive Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted surgery. This procedure may offer you better recovery outcomes than traditional hip replacement surgery. If you suffer from any of the following, you may be a candidate for hip replacement:

  • Osteoarthritis: the loss of joint cartilage that limits movement, causes pain and inhibits daily activity
  • Other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis, that result from a hip injury
  • Hip damage such as a hip fracture

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