Aim: To assess similarities and differences in patient-related characteristics before and after surgery for painful disabling hip osteoarthritis among elderly subgroups with and without a trauma history. Method: First, a cohort of 1000 hospitalized patients were assessed for trends in: perceived duration of the condition, pain intensity, functional performance ability, walking distance, body mass, and comorbidity characteristics among other factors. Then, the most salient of these patient-related characteristics were compared between 42 cases of hip osteoarthritis without a trauma history and 42 cases with a trauma history matched for age and gender, using medical records and standard data recording and analysis procedures. Results: Hip osteoarthritis cases with a prior hip fracture history had a longer duration of disability, and were more impaired functionally before surgery (p < 0.05) than those with no such history. They also had lower leg muscle strength and used more assistive devices. Conclusion: Patients undergoing hip replacement surgery for painful hip osteoarthritis who have a hip fracture history are likely to be more impaired and disabled than those with no such history.