Signs of bad ball joints include hip pain ranging from mild to severe, limited movement in the affected hip, swelling, and a creaking sound in the hip. There are multiple conditions that can affect the hip and cause bad ball joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and avascular necrosis.
The ball-shaped top of the femur connects into the hip joint, which is why the hip is known as a ball-and-socket joint. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in the hip wears away and leaves bone moving against bone. This results in pain and stiffness. In severe cases, a hip replacement can be performed.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs because of an abnormal response in the immune system. It affects joints in the body, causing pain, stiffness, swelling, and sometimes fever or fatigue. There are medicines designed to manage symptoms, but no cures are available as of 2014.
Avascular necrosis occurs when the top of the femur dies due to lack of blood. Symptoms can include pain in the groin, buttocks, leg and knee. There are many surgical options available depending on the patient, including bone grafts, realigning the bone and a hip replacement. The pain from hip disease usually becomes worse during activities that require weight bearing, such as standing and walking.