Diagnostic tool for hip pain on the outside

Let our diagnostics tree guide you to the possible diagnosis.

This self-test for hip pain outside or pain in the hip area is designed in such a way that one is guided to a possible diagnosis based on the symptoms and complaints.

We have tried to differentiate as much as possible.
Unfortunately, not all diseases can be clearly distinguished by their symptoms, but rather have an individual character, so you should only understand the result as a possible diagnosis.

Note: This test is in no way a substitute for a specialist diagnosis.
Once you've had a possible diagnosis of your external hip pain, it should be confirmed by an orthopedic specialist.

How would you most likely rate your external hip pain?

Read the following symptom combinations carefully and see which symptoms you find the most overlap.
This diagnosis is the most likely for yours Outside hip pain.

Appointment with a hip expert?

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Who am I?
My name is dr. Nicolas Gumpert. I am a specialist in orthopedics and the founder of .
Various television programs and print media report regularly about my work. On HR television you can see me every 6 weeks live on "Hallo Hessen".
But now enough is indicated ;-)

The hip joint is one of the joints that are exposed to the greatest stress.
The treatment of the hip (e.g. hip arthrosis, hip impingement, etc.) therefore requires a lot of experience.
I treat all hip diseases with a focus on conservative methods.
The aim of any treatment is treatment without surgery.
Which therapy achieves the best results in the long term can only be determined after looking at all of the information (Examination, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.) be assessed.

You can find me in:

  • Lumedis - your orthopedic surgeon
    Kaiserstrasse 14
    60311 Frankfurt am Main

Directly to the online appointment arrangement
Unfortunately, it is currently only possible to make an appointment with private health insurers. I hope for your understanding!
Further information about myself can be found at Dr. Nicolas Gumpert

Hip pain on one side - right / left

At unilateral hip pain different triggers can be considered.
After falling on one side, a bruise the hip may be the reason for the pain.
Also a Fracture of a bone the hip or the pelvis is possible, but this usually requires a great deal of force. Only in the elderly, especially women who are under one osteoporosis even a simple fall to one side can result in a fracture.

The most common reasons are though Strains and Muscle achesthat can be triggered by awkward movement, a lot of running or the like.
With muscle pain, the pain runs along a muscle and lets itself through discharge to treat.

Nerve pain can also be the cause of external hip pain, if a Cutaneous nerve for example trapped by tight clothing becomes.
One of these cutaneous nerves (N. cutaneus femoris lateralis) runs exactly along the outside of the hip and thigh and can there Pain, tingle and Sensory disturbances trigger. This nerve can also be irritated by its course in the body when the leg is extensively extended.

Bursitis (bursitis) must also be used for differential diagnosis.Trochanteric bursitis) should be considered.

Trochanteric bursitis

External hip pain can also occur due to a specific inflammatory process in the hip joint called trochanteric bursitis (inflammation of the hip bursa). Loosely translated, this term means an inflammation of one or more bursa that lie between the upper end of the thighbone and the muscles or tendons running above it. Bursae are found in many other parts of the body that are exposed to great forces or friction and perform important functions.
They serve as a cushion and reduce the forces acting to prevent damage from:

  • Muscles
  • bone
  • Tendons
  • skin

There are several such fluid-filled bursa on each side of the hip joint. If these are inflamed, they cause, among other things, Outside hip pain.

There are various circumstances that cause trochanteric bursitis. In principle, there is always an overload or a trauma / accident at the beginning of the trochanteric bursitis.
Bad posture from birth such as a crooked hip or legs of different lengths increase the risk of bursitis with hip pain on the outside. Likewise, especially in middle or old age, there is hip pain caused by trochanteric bursitis, which is explained by the wear and tear over the years. Young people also suffer from this clinical picture when they overstrain the bursa and tendons in the sense of sport and other physical exercise. Blows to the hip with possible small bleeding are one of the main causes. Soccer goalkeepers, for example, who often fall on their hips, are typically affected.

The symptoms of trochanteric bursitis are external hip pain with involvement of the upper thigh, which worsens when pressure is applied.
You also notice a stinging sensation when walking, which can radiate into your buttocks, and possibly a snapping sensation in your hips. These typical symptoms are also decisive for a correct diagnosis by a specialist after other diseases have been ruled out.
Trochanteric bursitis can be treated well by first avoiding any movement and cooling the affected area. If the external hip pain persists after a few days, anti-inflammatory agents such as diclofenac or cortisone can be used.
It is rarely necessary to vacuum the bag. After therapy, a triggering factor should be eliminated if possible. If none of this leads to success, you can consider removing the bursa.

Read more on the subject at:

  • Trochanteric bursitis
  • Greater trochanter pain.

Pain after jogging

Most hip pain is localized on the outside of the hip and originates from the insertion of tense muscles on the great rolling hillock (greater trochanter). Only with long-lasting tension in the area of ​​the hip and thigh muscles can painful hip joint damage occur.
Dull hip pain that is felt on the outside of the thigh often indicates a bursitis (trochanteric bursitis). The tissue around the large roll mound, a protruding bone of the thigh bone, is particularly prone to inflammation.
Often the hip pain occurs on the outside of the thigh when lying on the side, but can also increase under stress (such as jogging).
Burning pain on the outside of the hip can also be caused by nerve irritation. Various nerves (sciatic nerve, femoral nerve, obturator nerve, or some cutaneous nerves) can either be constricted at the nerve root on the spine or pressed in the process by muscles or swollen tissue. Such nerve irritation is often caused by external pressure or clothing that is too tight, overweight, fatty tissue or muscle training.

In the case of pain that is localized on the outside of the hip, it is important to clarify the cause. The hip pain is often caused by one-sided training or overload. Therefore, protection and avoidance of chronic overstimulation is usually the right approach to pain. In addition, the training should be adapted to the hip pain and pain-intensifying movements should be avoided.

You can find a lot more information under our topic: Hip pain when jogging

Hip pain on both sides

Hip pain on both sides suggests a systemic cause, as it affects both sides. This can be about hip arthrosis (coxarthrosis). Osteoarthritis in the hip joint is primarily a normal aging process as the hip joints wear out over time.
This leads to cartilage atrophy, so that the femoral head of the femur rubs directly on the bone of its joint socket (acetabulum). This causes pain from the friction and often the process is present on both sides of the hips.

The osteoarthritis can show up on one side only or after a fracture. Hip osteoarthritis develops more pronounced and faster if you are overweight and under inappropriate strain. If the weight is high, there is more force on the hip joints and wear is faster. Therefore, weight normalization can hold up the process so it doesn't get worse. However, deformities that can be congenital (hip dysplasia, leg length differences, aseptic femoral head necrosis (M. Perthes)) or occur after a fracture or an operation can lead to hip arthrosis. Circulatory disorders also favor cartilage destruction, as this is then not adequately supplied.

Initially, the pain is pronounced when moving after periods of rest (standing up, starting pain), later, the more cartilage has gone under, the pain is permanent.
In addition to normalizing weight, building muscle through sports such as cycling or swimming helps. Painkillers can be taken for the pain and inflammation. If conservative measures no longer help, cartilage rebuilding therapy can be considered. In the case of pronounced findings that can be clearly seen in the x-ray of the hip and severe suffering, an artificial hip joint is unavoidable.

Are you interested in this topic? Read more about this in our next article: Pain in the thigh and hip

Inflammation of the hip joint (arthritis) as part of a rheumatic disease can also be the cause of hip pain on both sides. Arthritis affects many joints and can occur in relapses; a reliable diagnosis is carried out by means of a clinical examination, blood test and, if necessary, X-rays. Inflammation can also develop from bacterial infections or osteoarthritis.
Muscle attachment pain, neuritis and bursitis can also occur on both sides, but more often only affect one side (see one-sided).

Snapping hip

Another possible cause of hip pain outside is one in everyday language as snapping hip named phenomenon, also known as Coxa saltans. Mostly it is assumed that the hip snapping is a jumping in and out of the thigh bone in the acetabulum with the associated hip pain on the outside, but this is not the case. The snapping hip is caused by the fact that part of a tendon-like ligament, the iliotibial band, gets caught on a protrusion (osteophyte) of the thighbone (on the greater trochanter) due to a weakness in the connective tissue.
As the movement continues, the resistance is overcome with a snap and the tract is again in its correct position. This causes a snapping sensation, in some cases you can even hear the snapping hip as a dull noise.

The snapping hip is a disease predominantly in middle age and occurs when the hip joint is flexed and extended, i.e. typically when walking.
A majority of people with this picture have no limitations or discomfort. However, some people, including those who exercise a lot or have a congenital malalignment in their hips, sometimes complain of external hip pain.
These can arise when the joints and ligaments have been stressed beyond the dimensions or the extent of the hip snapping is very pronounced. If symptoms arise, there are a number of possible treatment measures. In principle, regular physiotherapy is appropriate here. The aim is to use targeted exercises to strengthen the tendon-like cord and also to make it more elastic, which can lead to a significant improvement in the snapping hip.
General pain relievers are useful for external hip pain, for example in the form of Diclofenac / Voltaren. Cortisone shots can be injected when an inflammatory process increases the pain. If the symptoms are still too strong, there is the option of injecting a local anesthetic directly into the affected area, which brings quick but short-term relief. Finally, there is the option of an operation. In this procedure, which is only carried out in exceptional cases, the snapping tendon cord can be fixed to the protruding bone over which it is pulled.

You can find much more information on our website: Snapping hip

External rotation pain

If the hip hurts when you turn it outwards, this may indicate osteoarthritis. But even after a strain or a fall, this movement can be painful. The best way to rule out a fracture is then with an X-ray.

If the leg is turned outwards after a fall and is painful and possibly even shortened compared to the opposite side, then this speaks very much for a femoral neck fracture.

A joint blockage in the hip joint can cause pain when turning the leg outward. Often the external rotation is no longer possible. But also here inflammation in the hip joint (arthritis), bursitis and other causes are possible. It is advisable to consult a specialist who knows how to distinguish between the individual options.