Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia may be one of the most common misalignments in newborns, but adults can also suffer from hip dysplasia. Sitting or standing for long periods of time without pain is often impossible. You typically find it difficult to cope with work or your daily routine without medication.

Thanks to ultrasounds and hip screening, we can generally identify hip dysplasia early on. Our hip specialists at Schoen Clinic offer effective therapies to successfully treat you if you are suffering with hip dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia – what is it?

The hip joint is shaped like a ball joint. In a normal hip, the joint consists of the acetabulum (socket) and femoral head (ball) - which is stable and secure within the socket. When hip joint dysplasia occurs, the hip joint is underdeveloped and less bone forms in the core of the socket. This essentially means that the ball is not securely housed in the socket as it should be. When the hip socket is too shallow to support the ball of the hip, the hip joint becomes unstable, potentially painful and can eventually go on to develop osteoarthritis.

Symptoms used to identify hip dysplasia

If it isn’t identified and treated early, painful joint disorders may arise such as labral tears, groin pain, or even a sense of instability in the hip. With arthritis for example, the joint cartilage is worn down, which can cause a lot of pain, especially during movement, or long periods of rest. 

Common symptoms of hip dysplasia in adolescents or young adults include limping, or pain in the hip. Hip dysplasia symptoms include the following:

  • Limping
  • Pain in the hip
  • Groin pain
  • “Popping” or “catching” sensation with movement
  • Increased difficulty with activities

Causes: how hip dysplasia occurs

Hip dysplasia can occur due to several reasons. The misalignment could be innate. It is not uncommon for hip dysplasia to go unnoticed through childhood, leading adults to only realise they have the condition when the hip begins to hurt later in life. Deformities in the spine, legs and feet, as well as neurological or muscular disorders, may lead to hip joint dysplasia as well.

Diagnostics: clarifying the cause

In order to correctly diagnose hip dysplasia, your consultant will take a comprehensive medical history, physical examination and may also require further imaging to be undertaken. Imaging such as X-ray, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance arthrogram (MRA) can all be very helpful in determining the cause of your hip pain. Ultrasounds are a key part of screening examinations and cartilage structures plus bony anchor points can generally be imaged well. We can also provide accurate information on the ossification of the hip joint and how the hip joint components are positioned in relation to one another.

X-ray examination for an accurate diagnosis

X-ray examination is also suitable for making an accurate diagnosis of the ossification of the hip joint, as well as for checking progress. It also helps establish how the hip joint components are positioned in relation to one another.