Sudden-onset severe hip pain on only one side of the body may be due to a fracture or avascular necrosis of the femoral head, according to GPonline. Bursitis is a common cause of unilateral or bilateral hip pain, and it can also be caused by arthritis, injuries, pinched nerves, cancer and an assortment of other conditions, Mayo Clinic explains.
The location and nature of the hip pain can be used to identify its cause. Hip pain that is felt on the inside of the leg or in the groin indicates a problem with the hip joint itself, usually arthritis, advises Mayo Clinic. Hip pain felt in the buttocks or the outside of the thigh is most commonly due to an injury to the soft tissues, tendons or ligaments surrounding the hip joint. Pain felt in the hip area can also be pain that stems from a problem in the back or abdomen.
The age of an individual can be helpful in identifying the cause of hip pain, GPonline reports. In the elderly, the most common cause of hip pain is arthritis. In children, hip pain may be due to Perthe's disease or a dislocation. In adolescents and young adults, bursitis and soft-tissue injuries are common causes of hip pain.