Can Lupus Cause Hip Pain?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I have had Lupus for 14 years, and am just now starting to have problems with hip pain. It is very painful at night because I sleep on my side. I take Fosamax because of long term use of cortisone. How can Lupus affect the hip?

Doctor's response

Hip disease can occur in a patient with lupus in a number of ways, including inflammation of the hip from lupus arthritis, infection, avascular necrosis, degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis).

Lupus itself can cause inflammation of the joints (arthritis), which can involve the hip.

Infection occurs more frequently in persons with lupus and although infection in the hip is not common, it does occur.

Lupus patients who have taken long-term cortisone medications are at risk for destruction of the bone of the ball of the hip, called avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis).

Lupus patients can develop degenerative arthritis (Osteoarthritis) of the hip, which is a common disease affecting over 20 million Americans.

For more information, read our full medical article on lupus.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018