Irritable hip in children

Transient synovitis

Swelling and pain in the hip joint

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

  • What are the symptoms of irritable hip in children? icon plus

    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
  • Diagnosing an transient synovitis icon plus

    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.

  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    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 paediatric hip consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts specialising in hip and pelvis conditions in children, and whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex hip surgery to tests and diagnostic procedures, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care for children across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an orthopaedic appointment for your child

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced paediatric consultants who specialise in orthopaedics. We can also make imaging and outpatient physiotherapy appointments for you.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
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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