1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Transient Osteoporosis of The Hip

What is transient osteoporosis of the hip?


Updated April 29, 2014

Transient osteoporosis of the hip is a condition that occurs for unknown reasons. The condition is characterized by spontaneous onset of hip pain associated with x-ray signs of osteoporosis, and MRI evidence of bone inflammation. Transient osteoporosis of the hip usually resolves on its own within six months to a year.

Transient osteoporosis of the hip is usually found in middle-aged men and in women in their third trimester of pregnancy. It is not understood why these groups of patients are affected by transient osteoporosis of the hip.

Symptoms of Transient Osteoporosis of the Hip

The primary symptom of transient osteoporosis of the hip is the spontaneous onset of hip pain. Pain may be experienced in the groin, buttock, or thigh. Usually the symptoms are worse with weight-bearing activities. Pain tends to increase for a period of several months, and then gradually lessen with time.

Diagnosis of Transient Osteoporosis of the Hip

When the clinical symptoms raise suspicion of transient osteoporosis of the hip, an x-ray will be obtained. The x-ray will show osteoporosis of the femoral head (the ball of the ball-and-socket hip joint), which means the bone is less dense than normal. If this is seen, an MRI may also be obtained to look for the characteristic evidence of transient osteoporosis within this region. The MRI and x-ray can also be helpful to distinguish between other conditions which may have similar symptoms such as arthritis of the hip, avascular necrosis of the hip, or a femoral neck stress fracture.

Treatment of Transient Osteoporosis of the Hip

Because transient osteoporosis of the hip resolves within about 6 to 12 months on its own, treatment is aimed to decrease pain and discomfort. Because the bone is unusually weak in the affected area, there is a risk of hip fracture, which is the most feared complication of this condition. Crutches or a walker may be used to decrease the stress on the bone. Pain medications can be helpful to reduce the discomfort associated with this condition. Recent studies have also shown some benefit of bisphosphonate medications used to treat osteoporosis.


Anastasios V, et al. "Transient Osteoporosis" J. Am. Acad. Ortho. Surg., August 2008; 16: 480 - 489.

Related Video
Stretches to Prevent Hip and Pain and Injury
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Orthopedics
  4. Hip & Knee
  5. Hip Conditions
  6. Transient Osteoporosis of the Hip

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.