Hip Dysplasia: Signs and Symptoms

November 1, 2018

At Campbell Clinic, our pediatric surgeons specialize in treating a variety of conditions, from childhood fractures to scoliosis and developmental hip dysplasia.

Through our Young Adult Hip Preservation Program, it is our goal to enable children and young adults to practice physical activities without any pain, and lessen the severity of future hip problems.

In this blog post, we’re going to discuss hip dysplasia, an underlying hip condition that may develop during childhood or adolescence. If hip abnormalities are left untreated, they can affect mobility and quality of life. We’re here to inform you of these conditions now so that you can be on the lookout for your child.

What is hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip socket does not fully cover the ball joint in the upper thigh. When this happens, the hip joint can become partially or completely dislocated. Most people with this condition are diagnosed at birth, and if it is detected during early infancy, a soft brace is typically used to correct the problem. However, mild cases of hip dysplasia may not cause problems until teenage or adult years. Hip replacement surgery could be an option for those who are diagnosed at an older age.


Symptoms for hip dysplasia vary between age groups. One of the signs to look for in infants is one leg that is longer than the other. Another sign to look for is a noticeable limp when a child begins to walk.

When teenagers and young adults have hip dysplasia, it can cause painful complications like osteoarthritis or hip labral tears. As a result, they might experience sensations of instability or discomfort in the hip.


The hip joint is composed of a soft cartilage that gradually hardens into bone. The ball and socket act as molds for each other. When the ball isn’t seated firmly into the socket, the socket, in turn, will not be able to form around the ball and will become too shallow. This condition tends to be more common in females, and is usually genetic.

To help identify hip dysplasia, write down any signs or symptoms that your child is experiencing, as well as a list of questions to ask a doctor. If you think that your child has this condition, contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician.

This article was adapted from Mayo Clinic. Read the full article here.


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