Hip Osteoarthritis Specialist

Hip osteoarthritis primarily results in pain and stiffness in the hip, posing challenges in performing normal activities. Hip osteoarthritis can have a large impact on daily life, as it hinders basic movements and activities.

  • Are your symptoms affecting your quality of life? Consult our MOH-accredited hip osteoarthritis specialist for a comprehensive diagnosis of your condition & a personalised treatment plan.
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Dr Poh Seng Yew



MMED (Ortho)



What is Hip Osteoarthritis?

Hip osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, commonly affecting individuals as they age. While osteoarthritis can manifest in any joint, it frequently occurs in weight-bearing joints, notably the hip. In a healthy hip, the articular cartilage, a smooth and slippery tissue, ensures effortless movement by covering and protecting the bones constituting the hip joint. In osteoarthritis, this cartilage deteriorates, leading to direct bone-on-bone contact. This friction prompts the bones to form outward spurs, which are often painful.

Causes of Hip Osteoarthritis

Hip osteoarthritis does not have a singular cause. Certain factors can increase the likelihood of developing the condition, but it does not guarantee its onset.

  • Age-Related Wear and Tear
    Advancing age is a primary risk factor for osteoarthritis, as the wear and tear on joints can accumulate over time.
  • Genetic Predisposition to Osteoarthritis
    A genetic predisposition can make individuals more susceptible to osteoarthritis, indicating a hereditary component to the disease.
  • Obesity
    Excessive body weight exerts additional stress on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, escalating the risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Previous Hip Injuries
    Injuries to the hip joint, including fractures and dislocations, can predispose individuals to osteoarthritis in later years.
  • Labral Tears
    These involve damage to the ring of cartilage (labrum) that surrounds the hip joint, potentially leading to osteoarthritis.
  • Hip Dysplasia
    This condition, where the hip socket is abnormally formed, can cause uneven distribution of stress on the joint. It can increase the risk of hip osteoarthritis.
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement
    This is a condition where extra bone grows along one or both of the bones forming the hip joint, giving them an irregular shape and potentially leading to osteoarthritis due to abnormal contact and increased friction.

Symptoms and Signs

Hip osteoarthritis can have several characteristic symptoms:

  • Pain In The Groin Or Thigh: The most common symptom, typically felt in the groin or thigh. It may also manifest in the buttocks and can radiate to the knee. While it usually develops gradually and worsens over time, some patients might experience a sudden onset of pain.
  • Pain and Stiffness in the Morning: A common feature is pain and stiffness that intensify in the morning or after periods of rest.
  • Activity-Induced Flare-Ups: Pain often exacerbates with vigorous activity.
  • Reduced Mobility: Stiffness and limited motion in the hip joint can make walking or bending challenging.
  • Locking or Grinding Sensation During Movement: The hip joint may exhibit a locking sensation or produce a grinding noise during movement.
  • Painful Limp: The condition can affect the ability to walk, often resulting in a limp.
  • Increased Sensitivity to Weather Changes: Some individuals report increased joint pain during rainy weather or a drop in temperature.


Diagnosing hip osteoarthritis involves a comprehensive approach, typically involving the following steps:

  • Medical History and Symptom Assessment - A hip specialist begins with a detailed evaluation of the patient's medical history and a discussion of symptoms. The onset, progression, and impact of the symptoms on daily life will be questioned.
  • Physical Examination - Your hip specialist will conduct a thorough physical examination, looking out for any abnormalities in walking, a pain response when pressure is applied to the hip, tenderness around the hip, the range of passive and active motion, any grating sensation upon movement, and any signs of injury to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the hip.
  • Diagnostic Imaging - X-rays are used to accurately diagnose hip osteoarthritis. They provide detailed images of the bones and can reveal the narrowing of the space within the joint, changes in bone density surrounding the joint, the formation of bone spurs and possible bone cysts.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

In the early stages of hip osteoarthritis, non-surgical treatments are often effective in managing symptoms.

Lifestyle Modifications

In the early stages of hip osteoarthritis, hip specialists may recommend adjusting daily activities to minimise strain on the hip joint. This includes weight management to reduce the load on weight-bearing joints and modifying activities that exacerbate their condition, like certain sports or heavy lifting.

Using Assistive Devices to Improve Mobility

Hip specialists also suggest utilising canes or other walking aids to improve mobility and independence, reducing stress on the hip joint.

Pain Management

Some hip specialists may prescribe medications and hip injections to relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the joint.

Surgical Treatment Options

In cases where non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief and osteoarthritis leads to disability, surgery may be considered.

Total Hip Replacement

This is the most common surgical procedure for severe hip osteoarthritis. It involves removing the damaged acetabulum and femoral head and replacing them with artificial joint surfaces. This surgery aims to restore hip function and alleviate pain.

Recent improvements have enhanced the longevity and effectiveness of hip replacements. Improved surgical techniques have led to more accurate positioning of hip components, and enhanced bearing surfaces have improved the stability of the hip joint and reduced wear rates of the implants.

Prevention Strategies

While it may not be possible to completely prevent hip osteoarthritis, certain strategies can lower the risk and delay its onset.

  • Reducing Strain on the Joints by Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Extra weight adds stress to weight-bearing joints, like the hips. Keeping a healthy weight reduces this strain and decreases the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
  • Exercise to Improve Mobility and Alleviate Pain: Engaging in low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or cycling helps in maintaining joint mobility and a healthy weight, and can also alleviate pain.
  • Preventing Injury to the Hip: Protect the joints from injuries by avoiding high-impact activities, using protective gear during sports, and engaging in safe exercise practices.
  • Minimise Strain with Joint-Friendly Activities: Choosing activities that minimise strain on the joints is beneficial. This may include avoiding heavy lifting and repetitive motions that can stress the hip joint.

Schedule An Appointment With Us

Are Your Symptoms Affecting Your Quality Of Life?

Consult our MOH-accredited hip osteoarthritis specialist for a comprehensive diagnosis of your condition & a personalised treatment plan.


Dr Poh Seng Yew



MMED (Ortho)


With over 20 years of experience, Dr Poh Seng Yew is an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in hip, knee, shoulder and elbow surgery, sports medicine, and trauma surgery.

  • Former Director of Sports Service, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Singapore General Hospital
  • Clinical Hip and Sports Medicine Fellow, Orthopädische Chirurgie München (OCM), Germany
  • Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, FRCSEd (Orthopaedic Surgery)
  • Master of Medicine (Orthopaedic Surgery), National University of Singapore
  • Member, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCSEd)
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), National University of Singapore



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Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road, #08-62/63
Singapore 329563

Weekdays: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Saturdays: 9.00am – 1.00pm
Sundays and Public Holidays: Closed

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Your symptoms shouldn’t affect your quality of life or disrupt daily activities. Reach out to our friendly clinic staff today & schedule a consultation.

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    Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
    38 Irrawaddy Road, #08-62/63
    Singapore 329563

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    What Activities Should I Avoid With Hip Osteoarthritis?

    With hip osteoarthritis, try to avoid activities that exacerbate pain and stiffness. High-impact exercises and heavy lifting should be minimised as they can increase joint stress. Consulting with our hip specialist can help provide tailored guidance on safe activities and exercises.

    What Happens If Hip Osteoarthritis Is Left Untreated?

    If left untreated, hip osteoarthritis may progressively worsen, leading to increased pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Early intervention by a hip specialist can help manage symptoms effectively and prevent the condition from adversely impacting your daily life. Contact us today for a tailored treatment plan.

    How Should I Sleep with Hip Osteoarthritis?

    For better sleep with hip osteoarthritis, use a supportive mattress and consider sleeping on your back or the unaffected side with a pillow between your knees. This can help align the hips and reduce discomfort. Our hip specialist can provide additional personalised guidance for improved sleep comfort.

    Can Hip Osteoarthritis Come on Suddenly?

    Hip osteoarthritis typically develops gradually, but some individuals might experience a sudden onset of symptoms. Sudden or severe symptoms warrant a consultation with a hip specialist for proper diagnosis and management.

    Can Diet Help Treat Hip Osteoarthritis?

    A healthy diet can play a supportive role in managing hip osteoarthritis. Foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce joint inflammation and pain. A balanced diet can also aid in maintaining a healthy weight, thus reducing stress on the hip joints.