August 2001
Arthritis Facts

There are two common types of arthritis: degenerative or osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Both lead to a loss of the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the joint, making the bones grate painfully against each other. Degenerative arthritis begins with damage to the surface of the bones, which then roughens and damages the cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis begins with swelling and damage to the lining of the joint, and spreads inward to the cartilage and bone surface.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Here are the symptoms of degenerative arthritis in the hip:

  • Deep, not necessarily sharp, pain in the inner or groin area of the joint, which can radiate all the way down the leg to the knee.
  • Decreased range of motion in that leg.
  • Stiffness upon awakening or upon standing up; which may wear off as the joint limbers up.

If it's rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to the above symptoms there may also be:

  • Swelling of the joint.