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Irritable hip in children

Transient synovitis

Swelling and pain in the hip joint

About

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

  • 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
  • Diagnosis 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.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • Institute of Sport Exercise and Health Facility

    Institute of Sport Exercise and Health

    170 Tottenham Court Road

    London

    W1T 7HA

    Call 020 3447 2800
    [Mon | Weds | Fri] 8am - 6pm
    [Tues | Thurs] 8am - 8pm

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

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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