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Am I At Risk of Developing Osteoarthritis in My Hips?

Am I At Risk of Developing Osteoarthritis in My Hips?

Hip osteoarthritis (OA) may affect 25% of the population at some point in their lives, usually later in life. More than 32.5 million adults in the United States have OA, and this number is expected to rise as our population ages. That said, there are other factors that place you more at risk for developing OA, and we concentrate on the hip joints here.

At Western Orthopaedics, we have a hip specialist on staff — Dr. Brian White — who understands all too well how OA can impact your mobility. With an eye toward hip preservation, we want to outline the factors that are within your control to change, and those that aren’t, to provide you with the full picture on hip arthritis.

Poor alignment

Your hips are ball-and-socket joints where the top of your femur fits neatly inside a socket (called the acetabulum) in your pelvic bone. To keep your thighbone in place, you have a piece of tissue called a labrum, which forms a seal.

If there are any issues that disrupt the alignment in these three components, it can place you more at risk for developing hip OA. For example, hip dysplasia, frequent hip dislocations, or femoroacetabular impingement are often associated with the development of hip OA.

If you have any of these issues, we suggest that you see Dr. White to find out how you can remedy these conditions to avoid hip arthritis.

Previous injury

If you’ve injured your hip or you have a condition like a tear in your hip’s labrum, it’s important that you seek care from a specialist like Dr. White so he can treat your hip problem correctly, which helps avoid future problems like hip OA.


In general, extra weight can accelerate OA, which is also known as wear-and-tear arthritis. When you carry more weight than your joints can comfortably handle, the cartilage inside your joints is under added strain and can break down more quickly.

A great way to avoid hip OA, and OA in all of your joints, is to lose weight so that you can take some pressure off your joints.

Overuse and high-impact activities

If you’re a daily runner or engage in other activities that put stress your hips, you may be more prone to developing hip OA. While we encourage you to continue to lead an active lifestyle, if your hips are beginning to ache after activity, we suggest trying lower-impact activities, such as swimming or a stationary bicycle.

Risk factors you can’t control

As we mentioned, age is one of the leading risk factors when it comes to hip OA, which typically develops after the age of 60. Unfortunately, there are other factors that are beyond your ability to change, including genetics. In fact, 60% of hip arthritis cases are influenced by genetics.

As well, women are at a slightly greater risk of developing hip OA than men.

While there’s not much you can do about aging, genetics, and gender, we mention these risk factors so you can take better care of your hips if any apply.

If you do develop hip OA, it’s important to get us involved right away. Dr. White prefers hip preservation over hip replacement, and he does everything in his power to help you maintain your hips and your ability to move without pain.

If you’d like to learn more about risk factors for hip OA, please contact one of our offices in Denver or Arvada, Colorado, to schedule a consultation.

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