If your hip has suddenly been hurting, and you know it’s not a muscle issue or overuse injury, you should see an orthopedist as soon as possible. It could be a sign of hip dysplasia, described as either a deformed or misaligned joint, writes Duke Orthopedics.
According to the Mayo Clinic, many doctors catch the signs of hip dysplasia in children, who can be treated with a Pavlik harness if the patient is younger than 6 months, or a spica cast for older babies. However, there is always the chance that it isn’t caught until the patient is a young adult.
The cause of hip dysplasia is usually developmental, writes the Hip Dysplasia Institute. Many sufferers either inherit it from their family (as the condition is genetic), were born in a breech position, or their hips were misaligned when they were infants (as at that age, your bones are still made of soft cartilage and are easily malleable).
Duke Orthopedics and the Hip Dysplasia Institute write that the symptoms of hip dysplasia in adults include:A popping sound when you move your hip.
Hip pain, especially deep in the groin region that radiates outwards to your buttocks and thighs. It may be mild at first and easily ignored, but always escalates and becomes much worse.
Walking with a limp.
Loss of flexibility in the affected hip(s).
There’s an unusually wide distance between the sufferer’s legs.
A sense of weakness in one’s legs.
Feeling like even regular walking is difficult.
If you have any one of these symptoms, please make an appointment to see your general practitioner or a skilled orthopedist right away. Duke Orthopedics points out that if left untreated, hip dysplasia can accelerate the deterioration of the hip joint and lead to early arthritis. But that doesn’t mean you have to live in pain for the rest of your life!Mild dysplasia is treated with painkillers, lifestyle modifications, and joint injections — all usually enough to keep the pain at bay, notes the Hip Dysplasia Institute. However, Duke Orthopedics points out that for moderate to severe hip dysplasia, the best treatment option for patients too young to have a total hip replacement, is to undergo a surgery called a periacetabular osteotomy (PAO). During a PAO, the surgeon reorients the patient’s hip socket in order to minimize pain and to preserve his or her own joint, which will hopefully lessen the need for a hip replacement. However, for older patients, doctors usually recommend a total hip replacement, adds the Hip Dysplasia Institute.
In the end, while surgeries may sound severe, both a PAO and total hip replacement surgeries can help sufferers with severe symptoms regain full mobility of their hip and effectively nip the pain in the bud.