Could it be hip dysplasia causing your hip pain?

The hips support the weight of your body when you are standing, sitting, or moving, and they allow your legs to move into a variety of positions. When all the bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage in your hip work harmoniously, they allow your body to move in its highest capacity.

Hip pain and hip problems are common complaints among young adults. In the young adult population, many cases of hip pain (such as labral tears) may be caused by sports related injuries or everyday activities. Yet another lesser-known cause may be a structural abnormality known as hip dysplasia, a condition that has been diagnosed more frequently over the years in the young adult population.

What is hip dysplasia?

“For a young adult with hip dysplasia, the hip is not formed completely correctly. The hip socket and ball portion of the upper thighbone might not be completely concentric and could subsequently cause a pinch in the hip,” said Dr. Matthew Goldman, an orthopaedic surgeon at Baldwin Bone and Joint who is an expert on the hip.

Dr. Goldman indicated that hip dysplasia is a much more common cause of hip pain than the medical community once thought. “Nowadays, it is being diagnosed more frequently in young adults who are in the teens and twenties.”

Why would this be the case? Although hip dysplasia is a congenital condition (present at birth) that is routinely screened for, some cases are not detected at the time or so mild that it is left untreated until it becomes a noticeable hip problem, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

What are the symptoms of hip dysplasia?

Some patients do not even experience any symptoms until they reach young adulthood. Young adults with mild cases may simply have a femur bone that is loose in the socket while others with a more severe condition may have a femoral head that’s completely dislocated out of the socket. They may experience pain in the groin area, with that pain even radiating to the outside of the hip, growing in intensity as it progresses. Over time, the wearing down of the cartilage in the hip area could lead to early osteoarthritis (AAOS).

What are the recommended treatments for hip dysplasia?

Medications and Injections – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin can decrease inflammation and allow the body to recover. This is sometimes recommended as a long lasting treatment but can also give the body some relief before a surgical intervention is necessary. A cortisone injection can also be delivered directly to the joints to decrease inflammation and provide temporary relief.

Surgical treatments – In an osteotomy procedure, the orthopaedic surgeon will reshape and reorient the part of the hip that is not aligned correctly into a more normal position. To repair torn cartilage, your physician may also use arthroscopy, a surgical technique in which the surgeon uses a small camera that shows the anatomy to guide them, while carrying out the procedure with miniature surgical instruments.

A member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr. Matthew Goldman is an expert on treating hip pain and other conditions of the musculoskeletal system.

If you are experiencing hip problems, don’t wait too long to find out if you have a medical condition that requires the help of specialists. Call (251) 625-2663 to schedule a medical consultation with Dr. Matthew Goldman or another expert at Baldwin Bone and Joint.

You may schedule an orthopaedic clinic appointment online, by calling our office at (251) 625-BONE (2663) or by faxing (251) 625-3198. Our physical therapy clinic phone number is (251) 625-31PT (3178).

For emergencies, we are available and on-call 24/7, including holidays. If you have an emergency, please call our office at (251) 625-2663.


Daphne Office

1505 Daphne Avenue
Daphne, AL 36526
Phone: (251) 625-2663

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Bay Minette, AL 36507
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Foley, AL 36535
Phone: (251) 621-4700


401 Medical Park Drive
Atmore, Al 36502
Phone: (251) 625-2663

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