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Hip dysplasia

Congenital hip dislocation

A condition where the hip socket doesn't fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone

About

Most people with hip dysplasia are born with the condition. In hip dysplasia the socket of the hip is too shallow and the top of the thigh bone isn't held tightly in place, so the hip joint is loose. In severe cases, the thigh bone can dislocate (pop out of its socket).

Need to know

  • Symptoms of hip dysplasia icon plus

    Symptoms vary by age group. In infants, one leg might be shorter than the other. Once they start walking a limp may develop. In teenagers and young adults it can cause complications such as painful and stiff joints (osteoarthritis) or a hip labral tear, where the ridge of cartilage that runs around the rim of your hip joint socket gets torn causing pain or clicking. During physical activity it may cause groin pain.
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your baby's hips will be checked as part of a newborn physical examination. This examination will be performed again when they are six to eight weeks old. The assessment involves the gentle manipulation of your baby's hip joints and isn't painful. If the hip feels unstable or there is a history of hip problems in the family your consultant may recommend imaging tests such as an ultrasound scan. Mild cases of hip dysplasia often don't cause symptoms until the baby becomes a teenager so can be difficult to diagnose.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Treatment options may include: - Pavlik harness. This is a fabric splint that is used for treating hip dysplasia in babies. It secures both hips in a stable position, which allows them to develop normally. - Surgery. If the harness doesn't work or your baby is diagnosed at a later date your consultant may recommend performing a surgical procedure known as reduction, which involves placing the ball of the thighbone (femur) back into the hip socket.
Consultant in theatres

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