A Young Adults Guide to Hip Pain

By Mr Giles Staffordconsultant orthopaedic surgeon, at The Wellington Hospital.

As the population becomes increasingly aware of the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, more and more people are exercising into middle age. There has been an increase in adults taking up new sports and exercise methods which means they are working their bodies harder than ever before.

Being active has countless benefits, however if the body is being pushed to new limits it is important to be aware of new injuries and pains and notice any persistent aches that will not go away. This is particularly important as we get older as the body loses flexibility and becomes more prone to injuries. After a rigorous keep fit session or an intense football match, a few new aches and pains might be expected but it is important to remain cautious.

Recognising hip pain

Hip pain is a symptom which can often go unnoticed for long periods of time as it is commonly mistaken for groin strain. A groin strain is a muscular tear which should improve over time naturally and with physiotherapy. If the pain does not appear to be improving it is important to see a consultant for their advice. Many younger adults do not recognise the symptoms of having a hip problem and do not seek treatment. This can lead to worsening of the hip problem and may lead to early wear and tear of the joint and the need for hip replacement surgery for people as young as 30 years old. 


Generally, young adults with hip problems are more prone to develop issues because of the shape of their joints. The hip joint is a ball and socket but it is normal for them not to be a perfect shape and some shapes make it more likely to develop early wear and tear. This may go unnoticed for many years but rigorous exercise can accelerate the development of problems.


Symptoms to look out for:

• groin strain that is persistent and does not get better with physiotherapy
• a stiff hip and difficulty bending down
• trouble sitting for long periods of time
• stiffness when getting up after being seated.

Treatment options

I prefer to catch a hip problem before too much damage has been done to the joint. At which stage we can often perform keyhole surgery. This allows us to tidy up any damage and reshape the joint to prevent further damage. The results achieved are good and improving all the time. The aim of surgery is to restore the patient to their normal life, sporting or otherwise, without pain.


In cases where there is already too much damage to the joint a hip replacement is likely to be the best option. I tend to perform uncemented hip replacements on younger patients, but this depends on their bone shape and lifestyle. Hip replacements have excellent results and thanks to ever advancing technology patients are generally able to get back to doing all activities they wish.

To book an appointment with Mr Giles Stafford at The Wellington Hospital call 0207 483 5148