Osteoporosis Hip Pain

What is it and how is it treated?

If you’re one of the 54 million Americans who have osteoporosis or low bone density, you have an increased risk of bone fractures and chronic pain. 

Half of American women and a quarter of men over 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. This widespread disease most often affects your hips, wrist, and spine.

Can osteoporosis cause hip pain?

Yes. Osteoporosis can affect the femoral head and the pelvic bones comprising your hip joint. The disease is a prevalent cause of hip pain and hip fractures. In fact, hip fractures are by far the most debilitating and painful of osteoporosis-related breaks. 

Most people who have osteoporosis-related hip fractures live with chronic pain, a noticeable limp, and end up needing a walker or other walking aid.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes progressive bone loss. Osteoporosis develops gradually, and as you lose bone density, your bones become porous and weak. The bone mass loss increases your risk of fractures, deformity, and severe pain.

Your hips are vulnerable to age-related osteoporosis, which is sometimes called wear-and-tear, and transient osteoporosis.

What is transient osteoporosis?

Despite sharing a similar name, transient osteoporosis is very different from age-related osteoporosis, which is often painless in its early stages.

Transient osteoporosis is a rare form of disease that causes temporarily weakened bone in the upper part of the femur. It causes a sudden onset of pain that’s worse when you walk or participate in other weight-bearing activities. While gentle hip movements don’t trigger pain in the early stages of the disease, extreme motions cause pain from day one.

Transient osteoporosis is usually progressive, eventually causing debilitating hip pain and increasing your risk of hip fractures.

The good news is that transient osteoporosis resolves within 6-12 months, your bone strength returns, and your painful symptoms gradually subside.

What causes osteoporosis of the hip?

Your age and family history influence your risk of age-related osteoporosis. Additionally, a diet with insufficient calcium and vitamin D can contribute to your risk of the disease. Medical conditions, including endocrine disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, also increase your risk of osteoporosis.

Medical researchers haven’t found a specific cause for transient osteoporosis. Problems with your blood vessels, hormonal imbalances, and abnormal mechanical stresses can increase your risk of temporary bone loss in your upper thigh bone.

What are the symptoms of osteoporosis of the hip?

Age-related osteoporosis can develop for years without causing any symptoms. Often the first sign of hip osteoporosis is a fracture from doing something as commonplace as leaning out of your car window to get a parking ticket.

On the other hand, transient osteoporosis causes sudden and severe pain that intensifies with weight-bearing exercise, and your pain subsides with rest. Transient osteoporosis symptoms intensify over weeks or months and eventually become debilitating. Patients often develop a noticeable limp and need a walking aid until their condition subsides.

Bone marrow edema is another sign of transient osteoporosis. Bone marrow is the spongy material inside the hollows of long bones that produces blood cells. Bone marrow edema occurs when this tissue is inflamed and full of fluid.

What are the treatment options for osteoporosis of the hip?

The team of orthopedic surgeons at OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio, provides thorough exams and testing, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and X-rays to diagnose age-related and transient osteoporosis.

Once your physician understands your needs, they create a comprehensive treatment plan to address both forms of hip osteoarthritis. They combine proper nutrition, physical therapy, and medication.

Common age-related osteoporosis may improve with estrogen hormone therapy, selective estrogen receptive modulators, calcitonin, bisphosphonates.

Your doctor could also prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements as well as dietary changes. Physical therapy can help build strength and flexibility in the muscles supporting and stabilizing your hip.

You may have weight-bearing restrictions if you have transient osteoporosis. In this case, you may opt for water exercises and therapeutic movements with assistive devices. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help with your pain.

Call OrthoNeuro or schedule a consultation online today if you have any concerns about hip osteoporosis. Our team of orthopedic hip specialists supports your healing process, minimizing symptoms and helping you get back to your regular activities.

Related Services and Procedures

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Specialist Today! 

Patients who are experiencing the symptoms of hip arthritis should not delay a diagnosis. The decision of what treatments are best for you will be determined by what you and your OrthoNeuro Specialist feel are best.

  • If you have been suffering the symptoms of hip arthritis, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus.
  • Best of all, most patients can be seen within 24 hours of making an appointment.
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Meet Our Hip Specialists

Mark E. Gittins, DO, FAOAO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Timothy P. Duffey, DO


Michael B. Cannone, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

B. Rodney Comisar, MD, FAAOS

Orthopedic Surgeon

Ryan M. Palmer, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Keith A. LaDu, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Hip Pain Stops Here.

Get started today with a comprehensive treatment plan.

Call: (614) 890-6555