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Hip dysplasia is a congenital condition in which the acetabulum or socket is shallow. This creates under-coverage of the femoral head. The weight-bearing portion of the hip becomes overloaded as it is increasingly focused on a small area.

Dysplasia can lead to hip instability, labral damage and early-onset arthritis.

Patients with untreated dysplasia may be at an increased requirement of a hip replacement early in life.

Mild dysplasia can often be addressed arthroscopically by repairing a torn labrum and tightening the capsule around the joint.

Severe dysplasia can be treated with correction of the mechanical and bony deformity through a procedure called a peri-acetabular osteotomy (PAO). The American Hip Institute has created a team to severe dysplasia with combined arthroscopy, to repair torn labrum arthroscopically, and a PAO, to correct the bony mechanical deformity, in the same operation. This is aimed to treat both the bony deformity and the source of pain.

Dysplasia is a developmental condition and may be caused by:

  • Injury or insult in utero or during early childhood
  • Infection during in utero or during early childhood
  • Position in the uterus

Risk Factors for hip dyplasia include:

  • Females
  • First-born
  • Large birth weight
  • Breech position
  • Family history of developmental dysplasia of the hip

Symptoms of hip dysplasia

  • Constant, achy pain
  • Intermittent catching or locking
  • Groin pain
  • Buttock pain
  • Difficulty walking
  • Instability
  • Extreme flexibility

Physical Exam Findings

  • Limp
  • Difficulty standing on one leg
  • Limb length discrepancy
  • Pain with range of motion

Imaging Studies to diagnose the severity of dysplasia and intra-articular damage

  • X-rays: assess bony abnormality
  • MRI: assess cartilage damage and injury to the joint

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