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Emergency causes of hip pain

Complications of an artificial hip joint

If you have had hip replacement surgery and are starting to feel increasing pain, call your orthopedic surgeon. You should call even if you had a hip replacement a while ago.

Hip joint infection

If you have a fever along with hip pain, you may have an infection in your hip joint. Call your surgeon or your primary care provider right away.

Other symptoms you may have include:

  • Swelling, redness, or warmth near the hip
  • Chills or sweating and swelling in your leg

Risk factors for a hip joint infection are:

  • Recent injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Being on dialysis
  • Poor blood supply to the legs
  • Injection drug abuse
  • History of joint infection
  • Poor hygiene
  • Immunosuppression

People who have had their spleen removed are also at higher risk for infections in the bloodstream.


Cancers can spread to the bones and cause pain. If you have a history of cancer, please call your cancer doctor, orthopedic surgeon, or your primary care provider to discuss your hip pain.

Common cancers that may start in another part of the body and spread to the bones include breast, kidney, lung, prostate, and thyroid.

For some bone cancers, you may also feel a mass or swelling on the bone or the area next to the bone.

Hip fracture

If your hip pain began after a recent injury, fall, or accident, you may have a hip fracture. Call your orthopedic surgeon or your primary care provider.

Stress fractures can also occur when you have recently changed your activity level. These stress fractures can progress to become a complete fracture that can cause worse pain even with minor trauma. Call your surgeon or your primary care provider if hip pain makes it hard to walk.

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Review Date: 12/31/2018

Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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