Hip dysplasia often needs surgical correction. People who undergo surgery live healthy lives without further hip pain. If left untreated, dysplasia can result in debilitating arthritis. Hip dysplasia is likely to continue to cause symptoms until the deformity is surgically corrected.
What is hip dysplasia?
If we consider the anatomy of the hip, it is a ball-and-socket-type joint. The ball portion of the thigh bone fits firmly into the hip socket. If your hip is in good condition, the ball rotates freely in the socket and lets you move. Hip dysplasia is the abnormality of the hip joint wherein the ball portion of the thigh bone doesn’t fit together with the pelvis as it should. As a result, the hip joint becomes partially or completely dislocated. Hip dysplasia can exert pressure over the socket rim and destroy the cartilage lining the joint. Besides, hip dysplasia can also injure the soft cartilage (labrum) bordering the hip socket, called a hip labral tear.
People are generally born with this condition (developmental dysplasia). The physicians check for this condition during birth and well-baby visits. About 1 in every 1000 babies is born with hip dysplasia. It is more common in girls and firstborn children. Moreover, hip dysplasia usually affects the left hip but can also occur on the right hip.
What causes hip dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia can run in families, and it occurs more often in girls than in boys. The babies are mostly affected because the hip joint is made of soft cartilage when you are born. The following are few reasons for hip dysplasia that can occur before a baby’s birth:
- The mother’s first pregnancy
- The baby is enormous
- Oligohydramnios (a condition in which there is too little amniotic fluid in the sac)
- The baby in the breech position (the buttocks, not the head, are toward the birth canal)
- Family history of hip dysplasia
All these conditions reduce space in a mother’s womb. As a result of the congestion, the ball slides out of its proper position.
What are the symptoms of hip dysplasia?
As the ball portion of the thigh bone isn’t completely covered, there is an excess load on the hip socket. Over time, this additional load can damage the cartilage, resulting in arthritis. Some of the common symptoms of hip dysplasia include:
How is hip dysplasia diagnosed?
The physician takes down the person’s medical history and carries their physical examination to diagnose hip dysplasia. The physician may also order:
- Magnetic resonance arthrogram
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
How is hip dysplasia treated?
The treatment of hip dysplasia varies with age:
If diagnosed early, the physician prescribes a soft brace for the baby less than 6 months of age. For babies above 6 months, a full-body cast or surgery may be required.
For older children and adults:
There are three treatment options, which include:
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