Hip dysplasia is typically caused by a developmental abnormality at a very young age when the hip socket develops and the growth centers finish growing (fuse), but the socket remains shallow and more vertical (the socket looks more like a dish than a cup). With a shallow cup, the force of walking, running, and other activities is concentrated at the rim of the socket and on the labrum (a cartilage ring around the socket that acts like an O-ring protecting the hip joint), potentially causing a torn labrum and injury to the cartilage.
This type of injury and wear occurs more rapidly in a hip with dysplasia compared to a normal hip, and it can lead to the development of arthritis at an early age (mid 30-50s). It can also lead to the potential need for a hip replacement. Similar to hip impingement, hip dysplasia typically causes pain in the groin and is frequently associated with pain over the outside of the hip as well.
Hip dysplasia can be treated with a combination of non-surgical methods including rest, anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), activity modification, physical therapy, and injections into the hip joint. If these non-surgical treatments fail to provide lasting relief, surgical treatment is an option. Surgery for hip dysplasia typically includes a combination of hip arthroscopy to treat damaged cartilage and labrum as well as a re-orientation or re-positioning of the socket, which is called a periacetabular osteotomy (PAO).