What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a condition of abnormal development of the ball and socket of the hip. Laxity of the soft tissue capsule of the hip as a child if left untreated can lead to dysplasia (a misshapen ball and socket) and early arthritis as an adult. Early treatment of childhood dysplasia reduces the risk of arthritis but not completely. 

What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms may present gradually. Groin pain with flexion activities may be present. One foot turned out when walking may occur in the early stages. Symptoms of osteoarthritis are present in the later stages.

What is the Treatment?

Non-surgical treatment involves simple analgesics such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory medications, activity modification and a built up shoe if there is a difference in leg length.

Failing this, surgery can be considered. Options include osteotomies to improve the coverage of the ball by the socket for young adults but once arthritis develops total hip replacement is required. Hip replacement in a dysplastic hip can be a more complex procedure than usual due to the abnormal shape of the joint. The risk of complication is greater than a normal hip with osteoarthritis.