The hip is a weight bearing, ball and socket joint that connects the legs to the abdomen. It has a wide range of motion and is surrounded by large muscles that power movement of the legs.
Disorders of the hip can involve the cartilage (arthritis), the bones (fracture, osteoporosis, osteonecrosis, femoroacetabular impingement, stress fracture), the soft tissues (labral tears, trochanteric bursitis, abductor tendon tears). Pain originating in the hip joint is often felt in the groin while pain on the side of the hip is most commonly caused by bursitis. Pain in the buttock may represent a referred pain from the lumbar spine from conditions such as sciatica and spinal stenosis.
A detailed history of the onset, quality and duration of the pain as well as a physical exam and imaging studies can typically differentiate the cause of the pain.