Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why am I feeling this sharp pain in my hip, which has now moved to lower back pain?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy am I feeling this sharp pain in my hip, which has now moved to lower back pain?


I am a 24 year old full time college student, and have been dealing with a sudden onset of pain in my hip. After a few days this pain has moved to include lower back pain. I am not overweight and have not fallen or been injured. I have not changed my regular exercise routine or any other aspect of my daily habits or sleeping pattern. The pain is sharp and constant, making walking difficult and sitting for long periods is unbearable.


Hip pain in people your age should not be ignored. This is because you do not want something to go untreated necessitating a hip replacement early in your life. Although uncommon in the hip, the sudden onset of pain in a joint always prompts physicians to rule out a septic joint. This is a bacterial infection within the joint socket. It requires evaluation of the joint fluid and a long course of IV antibiotics. If you have not been sick or had a fever, then this is unlikely. Another possibility is transient synovitis. This is inflammation in your joint that occur after a viral infection such as a bad cold. In terms of your back, hurting, that could be a lot of different things. Perhaps your hip pain has caused you to walk funny which has put some extra strain on your back. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. He or she can take a detailed history of your pain, perform a thorough physical exam, and order all appropriate diagnostic imaging necessary to get a close look at your hip. Hopefully something non-invasive like a short course of anti-inflammatory medication will be sufficient for your hip. If something abnormal is found that requires surgery, you should get it taken care of as soon as possible.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.