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Hip Care

Hip problems are common in older adults and athletes, and they're treatable.

Look to UC San Diego Health orthopedists for comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of your hip condition. We are repeatedly ranked among the nation's best in orthopedic care by U.S. News & World Report. 

UC San Diego Health is the Official Health Care Provider of the San Diego Padres. We are also a designated Center of Excellence for orthopedic care by Optum, which means you'll receive expert, safe and cost-effective care.

When to See a Doctor

UC San Diego Health Ranked Nationally in Orthopedics

If you have hip pain that lasts more than a week, you should see a doctor. An early diagnosis and the right treatment can prevent more serious or permanent damage to your joint or surrounding soft tissue.

Do I Need a Referral for Orthopedic Care?

You can make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists directly without a referral. If you have an HMO, however, your insurance plan may require a referral from your primary care physician.

Hip Conditions Treated

UC San Diego Health treats all types of hip conditions, including these common ones:

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Cartilage injuries
  • Hip impingement, also known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)
  • Labral tears
  • Stress fractures
  • Tendonitis

Evaluation and Diagnosis

At UC San Diego Health, you receive a complete work up of your hip condition. This includes a careful review of your health history and current symptoms, a physical exam of your hip, and X-rays. To learn more about your condition, your doctor may also recommend an injection or MRI (or both) if there are inconsistencies in your diagnosis, symptoms or response to treatment. Once you have a diagnosis, you and your doctor will discuss your treatment options and goals.

Nonsurgical Care

Your UC San Diego Health care team may be able to treat your hip condition without surgery. 

Lifestyle Modifications

Because the hip is a weight-bearing joint, you may find relief with low-impact exercise such as swimming or biking, instead of running, as well as weight loss when appropriate.

See Weight Management Program for expert weight loss help.

Physical Therapy and Injections

Targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your hip can also help. If physical therapy doesn't improve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend a corticosteroid injection to reduce joint inflammation.

See Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for more information on our comprehensive non-surgical care for orthopedic injuries and conditions.

Hip Surgery

UC San Diego Health orthopedic surgeons offer advanced surgical techniques for treating hip conditions that have not responded to conservative treatment.

Hip Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy, also known as a "hip scope," is a minimally invasive approach for repairing a torn labrum, fixing an impingement, and cleaning away torn cartilage or loose bodies. Our minimally invasive approach reduces trauma to your hip joint and speeds recovery. 

Catherine Robertson, MD, performs hip arthroscopy at UC San Diego Health and is one of the only orthopedic surgeons in Southern California with specialized training in this complex surgical technique. She is also the lead team physician for the San Diego Padres and was an associate team physician for the San Diego Chargers.

Hip Replacement and Resurfacing

If you have severe joint damage or degeneration, you may be a candidate for a hip replacement or resurfacing. UC San Diego Health surgeons offer a range of surgical approaches and are sought out for their expertise in complex revision surgeries as well.

See Hip and Knee Replacement for more information on our surgical expertise in total and partial joint replacement.

If you have X-rays or an MRI and would like a second opinion about hip replacement, hip resurfacing or hip revision surgery, see: 

More About Hip Conditions and Care

For more general information about hip conditions and treatments, visit our Health Library:

Orthopedics Appointments & Referrals

Hip Surgeons

Non-Surgical Orthopedic Care

Sports Medicine in Primary Care

Many hip conditions can be diagnosed and treated by one of our primary care physicians (PCPs) with expertise in sports medicine. 

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