Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is the result of a hip socket that is too shallow.

What is it?

Hip dysplasia is the result of a hip socket that is too shallow.

what causes it?

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.

signs and symptoms

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.

non-surgical treatment

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. 

surgical treatment

Our hip preservation specialist, Michael K. Ryan, MD, is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon who commonly diagnoses and treats hip dysplasia. If non-surgical, conservative treatment fails to provide lasting relief, surgery is a reliable treatment 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)

For more information, contact Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center at (205) 939-3699 and ask to speak with Dr. Ryan's appointment scheduler.

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