Irritable hip in children


Swelling and pain in the hip joint

Enquiries & Appointments

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About hip problems in children

An irritable hip is caused by a swelling of the lining of the hip joint and a build up of fluid. It can arise following a viral infection or fall. Symptoms include a sudden pain in the hip, thigh or knee. Children will have difficulty crawling, standing or walking. The condition isn't serious and should clear up on its own with rest.

Need to know

Your children may start to walk with a limp, or experience trouble walking, standing or crawling. You should take your child to a consultant if they:

  • develop a fever or is otherwise unwell
  • develop an obvious swelling or redness on any part of the hip or leg
  • have increasing or persistent pain that is not relieved by ibuprofen or paracetamol
  • are in pain when they are at rest
  • are not starting to improve within three days or has not recovered fully in two weeks

During a consultation your doctor may:

  • look at and feel your child's hip, leg or knee
  • try gently moving the leg in different directions
  • ask about any recent injuries or illnesses
  • arrange an X-ray

Sometimes a blood test or other scans may also be performed to confirm it's nothing serious.

Depending on the symptoms your child displays your consultant will recommend treatment. In most cases your child's condition will improve with rest. Over the counter pain relief such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can also help recovery.

Our Irritable hip in children locations

Institute of Sport Exercise and Health (ISEH)

Institute of Sport Exercise and Health (ISEH)

170 Tottenham Court Road W1T 7HA London
The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.