Hip Psoriatic Arthritis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Arthritis of the hip is a degenerative joint disease that can lead to pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. While osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis targeting the hip–in 2017, more than 300 million cases of hip and knee osteoarthritis were recorded worldwide – psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can also cause severe hip joint problems.

If you suffer from hip arthritis, or more specifically from hip psoriatic arthritis, there fortunately are options to ease your pain and discomfort. It is important to understand the specific features of hip psoriatic arthritis to avoid long-term damage to the hip joint.

What is Arthritis of the Hip?

The hip joint is made up of two parts: the thigh bone's rounded end, called the femoral head, and a hollow area in the pelvic bone called the acetabulum. When the femoral head fits snugly into the acetabulum, it creates a ball-and-socket joint. The joint's surfaces are covered with a layer of smooth, rubbery tissue called cartilage, which helps the joint move easily and provides cushioning.

Arthritis of the hip is a condition that occurs when the cartilage in the hip joint wears down over time, causing the bones to rub directly against each other. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling in the hip joint. As the condition worsens, the range of motion in the hip joint may become limited, making it difficult to perform daily activities such as walking or bending.

There are several types of arthritis that can affect the hip joint, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis, on which we will focus in this article. Each type has its own unique characteristics and symptoms.

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects people who have psoriasis, a skin condition that causes patches of red, scaly skin. It is estimated that up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. 

Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the hip joint. It is a chronic condition that can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. In addition to joint problems, psoriatic arthritis can also cause skin and nail changes, fatigue, and eye problems.

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body's immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues. The exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Symptoms of Hip Psoriatic Arthritis

Hip PsA can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Pain and stiffness in the hip joint
  • Swelling and inflammation in the hip joint
  • Limited range of motion in the hip joint
  • Warmth and tenderness around the hip joint
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Skin rashes and nail changes

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a healthcare professional to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis of Hip Psoriatic Arthritis

Diagnosing hip PsA can be challenging because the symptoms can be similar to those of other types of arthritis. A healthcare professional will typically start by taking a detailed medical history and performing a physical examination.

Diagnostic tests that may be used to confirm a PsA diagnosis include blood tests to check for inflammation and imaging tests, such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, to assess joint damage.

In some cases, a joint fluid analysis may be performed to check for signs of inflammation or infection.

Treatment Options for Hip Psoriatic Arthritis

Treatment for hip arthritis depends on the severity of the condition and the individual's symptoms. Some common treatments include:

Pain relief: Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the hip joint.

Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles around the hip joint, which can help reduce pain and improve mobility.

Lifestyle changes: Some changes in your habits can go a long way in reducing the impact of hip PsA, such as:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce joint stress
  • Regular exercise to improve joint flexibility and strengthen muscles
  • Eating a balanced diet to provide the body with essential nutrients
  • Getting enough sleep to help reduce inflammation and promote healing
  • Managing stress to reduce the risk of flare-ups

Surgery: In cases where conservative treatments have failed to provide relief or the condition has progressed to a severe stage, surgery may be recommended. Surgery for hip arthritis aims to relieve pain, restore mobility, and improve the patient's quality of life. The most common surgical procedures for hip arthritis include:

  • Hip arthroscopy: A minimally invasive procedure in which small incisions are made around the hip joint to insert a tiny camera and surgical tools. The surgeon can then remove damaged tissue, smooth out rough surfaces, and repair any tears in the cartilage or labrum.
  • Osteotomy: A surgical procedure that involves cutting and repositioning the bones around the hip joint to redistribute weight and reduce pressure on the damaged area. Osteotomy is typically recommended for younger patients with early-stage hip arthritis who are not candidates for joint replacement surgery.
  • Total hip replacement: A surgical procedure in which the damaged hip joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint made of metal, plastic, or ceramic. Hip replacement surgery can relieve pain, improve mobility, and restore the patient's quality of life. The recovery period for hip replacement surgery can be several months, and physical therapy is typically required to regain strength and mobility in the affected hip joint.


In conclusion, early diagnosis and proper management are essential in preventing joint damage and disability from hip psoriatic arthritis. Regularly seeing a healthcare professional to monitor symptoms and adjust treatment is crucial in managing the disease, as is following the treatment plan as prescribed by the healthcare professional. Taking medications as directed, even if symptoms improve or side effects occur, can help slow the progression of the disease and prevent joint damage. Always do your own research and consult with a professional before trying new treatments.

Living with hip psoriatic arthritis can be challenging both physically and emotionally. Having a support system to help cope with the disease is essential. This support system may include family, friends, healthcare professionals, or support groups. Sharing experiences and talking with others can help reduce stress and improve overall quality of life. By taking proactive steps to manage the disease and prevent complications, individuals with hip PsA can live fulfilling and active lives.

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