This site is intended for healthcare professionals

2437 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 23/4/2021)

2437 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 23/4/2021)

Medical search

referral criteria from primary care - hip osteoarthritis

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 more open access pages.

The majority of the management of patients with osteoarthritis of the hip can be undertaken in primary care . Patients should, however, be referred to a specialist service if:

****there is evidence of infection in the joint

*** symptoms rapidly deteriorate and are causing severe disability

* pain and/or disability persist despite therapy

* the symptoms impair quality of life. The timing of the appointment should depend on the extent to which the condition is causing pain, disability, sleeplessness, loss of independence, inability to undertake normal activities, reduced functional capacity or psychological upset.An explicit scoring system for these should be developed locally in a partnership involving primary and secondary care

+ drug treatment causes a severe unwanted effect

+ the diagnosis is, or becomes, uncertain

Key to referral times:

**** immediate referral (a)

*** urgent referral (b)

** soon (b)

* routine (b)

+ times will be discretionary and depend on clinical circumstances

(a) within a day

(b) Health authorities, trusts and primary care groups should work to local definitions of maximum waiting times in each of these categories. The multidisciplinary groups considered that a maximum waiting time of 2 weeks is appropriate for the urgent category


  1. NICE (May 2000). Referral Practice A guide to appropriate referral from general to specialist services.

Last reviewed 06/2020