What Is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a medical condition characterized by an abnormal development of the hip joint. In a healthy hip joint, the ball-shaped head of the femur (thigh bone) fits snugly into the socket-shaped acetabulum of the pelvis. This arrangement allows for smooth movement and stability of the hip joint. However, in individuals with hip dysplasia, the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to an unstable and improperly aligned joint.

The Two Main Types of Hip Dysplasia

Developmental Hip Dysplasia (DDH):

This type of hip dysplasia occurs during a baby’s developmental stages, often before birth. It can result from a combination of genetic factors and environmental influences. In DDH, the hip joint might be shallow, allowing the femur’s head to partially or completely slip out of the socket. This can lead to instability, poor hip joint alignment, and potential long-term complications if not detected and treated early.

Acquired Hip Dysplasia:

This type of hip dysplasia can develop later in life, often due to wear and tear on the hip joint or other factors. It’s more common in adults and can result from trauma, repetitive stress, or conditions that affect the structure of the hip joint over time.

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia

Some of the symptoms of hip dysplasia can vary based on the severity of the condition and the age of the individual. In infants, signs might include uneven leg lengths, limited hip movement, and a clicking sound in the hip joint. In children, symptoms might include a limp, pain in the hip or groin area, and walking with a waddling gait. In adults, symptoms might include hip pain, stiffness, and difficulty walking.

Treatments for Hip Dysplasia

Early detection and treatment are crucial for managing hip dysplasia. In infants, harnesses or braces might be used to help properly position the hip joint as it develops. In more severe cases, surgical interventions might be necessary. In adults, treatment can include physical therapy, pain management, and in some cases, surgical procedures to correct the alignment of the hip joint.

Schedule a Consultation

If you suspect or know you have hip dysplasia, contact the office of Dr. Alexander McLawhorn at 203-705-2113 to schedule a consultation. We’ll discuss your hip dysplasia and find the best treatment options for you and your lifestyle.

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