Unsure of diagnosis - need more facts for acceptance

Hello, I have had hip/buttock pain for a year now. After an x-ray a year ago I was told the x-ray was "unremarkable" but has shown a slight narrowing of the hip joint and therefore I had hip arthritis (OA)which was the cause of my pain. I was referred to physio who gave me exercises after phone consultations. Today, a year on, things have got worse. Every day my pain affects me when walking - especially after sitting, going up hill/steps and keeps me awake at night if I lay on the affected side (my right side). I have always loved my walks and feel depressed that I now struggle and sometimes can't be bothered to go out walking anymore. Some days are worse than others and the really bad days are awful. Recently I met a lady who had exactly the same symptoms as me but she has been diagnosed with bursitis and is having treatment for that. I have also seen symptoms for piriformis syndrome which are also similar. I have never been seen by a doctor as my surgery only now does phone consultations and when I mentioned this, the doctor just said that I have arthritis.All the time I think I may have something else it is making it harder to accept my arthritis. I can't believe something could progress so quickly and be so painful. I have arthritis(OA) in my knees and I've had it for years but the pain is much less than the hip and I often don't even notice it. It doesn't affect my walking. My question is: why is no other cause of my hip pain being considered? I understand that I have signs of arthritis in my hip but would that definitely be the cause of the pain? I am 64 years old. Also it is arthritis why is it only in one hip - what has made it happen in that hip? Sorry to go on but I'm sure with a little help I will be more accepting of the diagnosis! Thank you


  • Hello @Boneym, welcome to the online community! It's lovely to have you here.

    I see that you have OA of the knees and that you have been recently diagnosed with OA of the hip, I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with how quickly and severely the pain has come on. It's normal to feel unsure about a new diagnosis.

    Do seek out a second opinion if you are not satisfied with the diagnosis, its not ideal for GPs having to make diagnoses over the phone and sometimes things can be missed. Although, while sometimes it can feel like OA is downplayed by doctors as being "just" wear and tear, it can come on quickly and be very painful and debilitating as you might have experienced.

    To try and answer your last question - rheumatoid arthritis is typically symmetrical, so would usually affect both hips, but in osteoarthritis it isn't always like that and it is common to have the joint affected on one side but not the other, this could be to do with some sort of physical damage on that side or for other reasons.

    Here are some links that you might find useful:

    Please keep us updated!

    Best wishes, Sarah (moderator)

  • Boneym
    Boneym Member Posts: 3

    Thank you Sarah - it really is lovely just to talk about it and you have been very reassuring. The problem is all to do with the lack of communication that I've had mainly due to the changes in healthcare during the pandemic. It's no-one's fault but it has left me feeling so unsure and all my questions unanswered after a year.

    However, you have really helped with your response and answered some of my questions. I feel a bit more able to persevere and perhaps get a second opinion as you suggest.

    Thank you again for your response - you are so wonderful to give up your time like this and I feel already better for it.