The most prominent symptom of hip arthritis is pain and/or stiffness. Most patients think that their hip is in the region of the buttock or on the side (where you can feel bone) and are surprised to learn that true hip pain is most commonly experienced in the groin. The pain can radiate down the front of the thigh, to the side and into the buttock as well. Occasionally it goes all the way down the thigh to the knee – this is because the hip and knee have an overlapping nerve supply.
Patients with significant hip disease may have a limp and occasionally one leg may feel shorter than the other. As the disease progresses, the hip becomes painful and stiff. Common symptoms people notice is difficulty cutting toenails or putting on shoes and socks. Sleeping often becomes disrupted as a result of pain. As the condition deteriorates, you may have to take a break even after walking short distances. With end-stage bone-on-bone contact, you may sometimes feel the hip creaking during walking, although most people do not wait that long before they have it replaced.