Pain distribution in primary care patients with hip osteoarthritis

Fam Pract. 2016 Dec;33(6):601-606. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmw071. Epub 2016 Aug 18.


Background: Hip osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common diagnosis in primary care adult patients presenting with hip pain but pain location and pain distribution in primary care patients with hip OA have been reported inadequately.

Objective: To describe pain location and pain distribution in primary care patients with clinical and radiographic confirmed hip OA.

Methods: Primary care patients with unilateral clinical and radiographic hip OA living on the island of Funen, Denmark were recruited from primary care to participate in a randomized clinical trial. At baseline, patients recorded pain intensity using an 11-box numeric rating scale and the distribution of hip pain using a manikin displaying three separate views: front, back and lateral. Pain drawings were analysed using a template to determine the most frequent pain locations and distribution of pain.

Results: Pain drawings were completed by 109 patients of which 108 (99%) were valid. The mean age of patients was 65 (SD 9) years and 44% were females. The mean pain intensity was 5.4 (SD 2.0). A total of 77% had marked the greater trochanter area, 53% the groin area, 42% the anterior/lateral thigh area, 38% the buttock area, 17% the knee and 15% the lower leg area. No patients marked pain exclusively in the areas of the knee, posterior thigh or lower leg.

Conclusion: The most common pain locations of patients with hip OA presenting to primary care are the greater trochanter, groin, thigh and buttock areas. No patients recorded pain exclusively in the knee or lower leg.

Keywords: Diagnosis; general practice; hip; hip pain; osteoarthritis.; pain location; primary health care.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Buttocks
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Groin
  • Hip
  • Humans
  • Knee
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / etiology*
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / complications*
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / diagnostic imaging
  • Pain Measurement
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Thigh