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Jacqui asked...

I am worried I have arthritis.

I am visiting a Physiotherapist in France where I am resident. I have had a pain in my hip which is now feeling better and also a pain to the inside of my knee. I am concerned that my Physio has told me that he cannot do anything for my knee and that it is arthritis. When lying down, he is able to lift both my legs one at a time, several inches from the ground by holding onto my foot with my legs straight. He has told me this is very bad. I do not understand why and what the consequences are? Can you please advise?

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The answer

True hip joint pain is normally felt in the groin area rather that at the side of the hip and will sometimes radiate down towards the knee. It is not uncommon for patients to complain of thigh and knee pain when in fact the source of the pain is the hip joint.  Pain on the outside of the hip or nearer to the bottom area is more likely to be caused by a condition called 'trochanteric bursitis' which is an inflamed fluid pouch over the outside of  the bony aspect of the hip.  Back problems can also cause referral of pain into the buttock, hip and down the thigh towards the knee. A physiotherapist will usually be able to determine the likely source of the pain through taking a detailed history and physical examination.  Treatment will depend on the source of the pain, its cause and severity.  If symptoms are not improving with physiotherapy treatment then I would recommend seeing a doctor who can then organise some tests including hip/knee X-ray and possibly a back scan depending on the nature of your symptoms.

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