Duration and location of pain

1. Pain of short duration is usually posttraumatic or inflammatory.

2. Pain that is chronic and progressive may indicate mechanical joint incongruity related to an underlying arthritis. The pain of osteoarthritis is usually alleviated with rest. Constant hip pain is characteristic of an inflammatory or neoplastic process. The presence of morning stiffness and its duration are important aspects of RA.

3. Groin pain with radiation into the buttock indicates hip joint dysfunction. Pure buttock or back pain without a groin component is usually back in origin. When patients say their hip hurts, they mostly point to the buttock. Lateral hip pain with radiation to the lateral thigh may be related to greater trochanteric bursitis or abductor tendinitis. Discomfort over the anterior superior iliac spine extending down the anterior thigh is associated with meralgia paresthetica (inflammation of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve).

4. Buttock pain may be related to ischial tuberosity bursitis or spinal disorders such as spinal stenosis, ruptured intervertebral disk, and instability.

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