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Other types of arthritis


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease caused by "wear and tear." In OA, cartilage breaks down and wears away. As a result, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.

OA is by far the most common cause of hip arthritis. However, other types of arthritis may cause hip pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term disease that causes inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It can create severe joint damage and affect other organs.

The cause of RA is unknown. It is an autoimmune disease. The body's immune system normally fights off foreign substances, like viruses. But in an autoimmune disease, the immune system confuses healthy tissue for foreign substances. As a result, the body attacks itself.

RA can occur at any age. Women have it more often than men.

RA usually affects joints on both sides of the body equally. It often happens in wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles. The course and the severity of the illness can vary. Infection, genetic make-up, and hormones may contribute to the disease. RA can be managed well now with medicines, however, some people may not respond to treatment and will require surgical treatment.

Reactive arthritis

Reactive arthritis is a group of inflammatory conditions that may involve the joints, eyes, genitals, and urinary system. There may also be sores (lesions) on the skin and mucous membranes.

The exact cause of reactive arthritis is unknown. It happens most commonly in men before the age of 40. It may follow a bacterial infection. A certain genetic makeup may make you more prone to this syndrome.

Reactive arthritis is rare in younger children, but may occur in adolescents.

Urinary symptoms usually appear within days or weeks of an infection. Low-grade fever, inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye (conjunctivitis), and arthritis develop over the next several weeks.

Reactive arthritis may go away in a few weeks, but it can last for a few months and up to a year. Symptoms may return over a period of years in up to half of the people who have this condition.

Severe damage is unusual.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that is often associated with psoriasis of the skin. The arthritis may be mild and occur in only a few joints, mainly those at the end of the fingers or toes. In some people, the disease may be severe and affect many joints, including the spine. When psoriatic arthritis occurs in the spine, the symptoms are stiffness, burning, and pain, most often in the lower spine and sacrum.

People who also have arthritis usually have the skin and nail changes that occur in psoriasis. Often, your skin will get worse at the same time as your arthritis.

Infection in the hip joint

Septic arthritis (or infection in the hip joint) is inflammation of a joint due to an infection. Septic arthritis develops when bacteria spread through the bloodstream to a joint. It may also occur when the joint is directly infected with bacteria by an injury or during surgery. The most common sites for this type of infection are the knee and hip.

People with artificial hip joints are also at risk for bacterial infections. Symptoms may be:

  • Increased pain in the hip
  • Bone pain
  • Fever and chills, along with sweating
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill-feeling (malaise)
  • Local swelling, redness, and warmth
  • Nausea
  • Drainage from your hip
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Review Date: 12/31/2018

Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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