Hip Dysplasia in Children: what you need to know!

Hip Dysplasia in Children.

What (really) is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is the medical term for when the hip socket does not fully cover the end of the upper thigh bone. This means that the hip joint can easily become partially or completely dislocated. Later on in life, Hip Dysplasia can cause painful complications such as osteoarthritis and even a Hip Labral Tear.

Who is at risk of developing Hip Dysplasia?

Babies that are born breech, as well as female and firstborn children are generally more at risk of Hip Dysplasia. Where a family history of dysplasia exists, the risks increase significantly.

What are the signs of Hip Dysplasia?

  • Hip joints click when rotated
  • Uneven legs, where skin creases at the ankles
  • Delay in walking and sitting upright
  • Steps appear uneven

How do we treat Hip Dysplasia?

It is standard practice for your Paediatrician to assess your baby for conditions like Dysplasia following birth and at their 6-week consultation. However if your child is considered at risk of this condition, they will most likely need an ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis and assess for signs of further damage.

If your baby is diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia, they will be placed in a soft brace, called a Pavlik Harness, for around 6 to 10 weeks. This will assist with normal joint development. For more severe cases of this condition, plaster casts or surgery may be required as part of the treatment.

Although most cases of this condition correct itself in the early stages of your child’s life, some may only present much later, in adolescence and adulthood. These cases are much harder to treat, which is why early diagnosis is key.

If you have any questions about Hip Dysplasia, or concerns around your child’s hips and feet, don’t hesitate to book a consultation with one of our experienced Podiatrists today!