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Indian J Orthop. 2017 Jul-Aug;51(4):455-460. doi: 10.4103/ortho.IJOrtho_607_16.

Transient Osteoporosis of the Hip: A Mysterious Cause of Hip Pain in Adults.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, India.



Transient osteoporosis of the hip (TOH) is a poorly understood and forgotten clinical entity. The diagnosis is often delayed, and inappropriate treatment is provided, due to the lack of its awareness among the clinicians.


Twelve patients (11 male and one female) within the age group of 35-50 years, were identified retrospectively from the hospital records between July 2011 and June 2015 who had evidence of TOH on clinical and radiological parameters.


All the patients were treated conservatively by nonweight bearing mobilization, anti-inflammatory drugs, bisphosphonates, calcium, and Vitamin D supplements. None of our patients had any symptoms after 6 months of conservative management. The disease did not progress, and there was no evidence of hip joint involvement in any of the cases. Plain radiographs were not diagnostic in the early detection of TOH. Magnetic resonance imaging was found to be highly specific and sensitive in diagnosing TOH. The clinical condition of TOH is characterized by its acute onset of hip pain in middle-aged people, and its symptoms are out of proportion to the radiological findings.


The TOH is a nondestructive and self-limiting condition of the hip, which responds well to the conservative treatment. We believe that TOH could be a subset of complex regional pain syndrome type 1, as it has many similarities in clinical presentation and management. Awareness of this entity is important to the clinicians for an early diagnosis and to avoid unnecessary treatment for other mimicking conditions.


Avascular necrosis; Osteoporosis; avascular necrosis of bone; magnetic resonance imaging; reflex sympathetic dystrophy; sudeck dystrophy; transient osteoporosis of the hip

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