You Could Have Hip Dysplasia Without Knowing

Pain in your hip or groin area may be due to un-diagnosed hip dysplasia, and this condition will likely not get better in the future. If you weren't diagnosed as a young child, chances are that you have unknowingly had this condition for years without any problem until you got older.

Here is more information about hip dysplasia, its signs and symptoms, and how an orthopedic surgeon can help.

What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip socket is so shallow that the ball-shaped femoral head cannot fit properly. This creates an unstable hip joint where the femur grinds against the cartilage in an unnatural way and causes early-onset osteoarthritis.

Why Weren't Some People Diagnosed Early?

Screening, at least in the United States, is not universal, so not all children get screened unless they are at high risk or show signs of the problem. Technology and techniques sometimes miss finding hip dysplasia in some infants, especially if their case is mild. Some children may not develop symptoms until much later.

What Are the Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Adults?

Hip problems in both adults and adolescents often first show up as pain in the groin, lower back, or side of the hip, especially with movement such as getting up from sitting, walking, or standing for long periods. If you have severe hip dysplasia, then you may also hear pops as you walk or move your legs.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is generally congenital and cannot be prevented. However, the earlier the condition is detected, the longer you may be able to go without surgery. If you are overweight, then losing weight is often helpful as is low impact exercise and stretches. Medications are also available to reduce pain and swelling.

How Can an Orthopedic Surgeon Help?

Unfortunately, the only way to permanently treat hip dysplasia is through surgery. The kind of surgery you need depends on your doctor's recommendations. Some hip surgeries are more comprehensive than others. If you have severe osteoarthritis, then you may need a complete hip replacement. However, each hip dysplasia case is unique and not one surgery fits all.

Hip dysplasia can, eventually, leave you completely unable to walk without treatment. Fortunately, after treatment, you should have less pain and more mobility. If you have been having pain around your hips, especially when you do a lot of walking or working out, then see an orthopedic physician to get checked out. After an examination, the physician may devise a future treatment plan to keep you on your feet.