Osteoarthritis of the hip (Coxarthrose)

Imagine a scale with the genetically predetermined stress capacity of the cartilage on one side, and the actual stress on the other. If the actual stress is bigger, there is an imbalance with resultant damage to the cartilage. In the hip joint, the shape of the femoral head, the position of the acetabulum and coverage of the femoral head, and the position of the femoral neck must all be well aligned. A disturbance in this system or in the muscle and ligaments can encourage the development of osteoarthritis. In principle, any disease of the articular cartilage, the synovial membrane or synovial fluid can lead to osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis  of the hip

The following symptoms may occur in advanced osteoarthritis, and may be experienced differently in each person:

  • Pain on placing weight on the joint (➞ limping gait)
  • Pain on movement of the joint
  • Pain on initial movement
  • Inflammatory pain
  • Deformation of the joint (shortening of the leg ➞ pelvic obliquity ➞ back pain)
  • Unstable gait with risk of falling
  • Restriction of movement (e.g. difficulty putting on socks/stockings)
  • Muscle tension, muscle shortening and muscle weakness

If the osteoarthritis of the joint is not yet advanced, it can be treated conservatively with the aid of special shoe inserts and medications for pain and for strengthening the cartilage, as well as weight loss. However, these methods will merely reduce the pain caused by the osteoarthritis and slow the cartilage degeneration. Osteoarthritis itself cannot be stopped or cured.

  • Anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers
  • Medications to strengthen the cartilage
  • Injection of lubricants and anti-inflammatory medications into the joint
  • Aids such as canes, shoe inserts, orthopaedic shoes
  • Physiotherapy, changes in lifestyle including sports, managing obesity, diet, etc.

If conservative treatments are ineffective and quality of life and mobility are severely limited, surgical treatment must be considered:

«Osteoarthritis of the hip»
(in German)

Brochure Download

Centre for Joint and Sport Surgery
Pyramid Clinic
Bellerivestrasse 34
CH-8034 Zürich

+41 44 388 16 16
+41 44 388 16 00


Contact us by phone from:
8 a.m. – midday and 1 – 5 p.m.