Hip dysplasia is the medical term for a hip socket that doesn't fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone. This allows the hip joint to become partially or completely dislocated. Most people with hip dysplasia are born with the condition.
Hip dysplasia can damage the cartilage, the tissue that cushions these bones in the joint. It can also cause pain and issues, ranging from an unstable joint to dislocation (the bone slides out of place in the joint).
About 1 of every 1,000 babies is born with hip dysplasia. Girls and firstborn children are more likely to have the condition. It can occur in either hip, but is more common on the left side.
When people are born with this condition, it is called developmental dysplasia of the hip or congenital hip dislocation.
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket configuration that attaches the femur to the pelvis. In people with hip dysplasia, the femoral head (top of the femur) does not line up properly with the curved socket in the pelvis. In some cases, the socket is not deep enough to hold the femoral head in place. Most people who have hip dysplasia were born with the condition. Hip dysplasia can develop if the baby’s position in the womb puts pressure on the hips. It can also be genetic (passed down in families).
Treatment for hip dysplasia involves managing pain and protecting the hip joint from further damage. The doctor will tailor the treatment to meet the patient’s specific needs.
People who have surgery for hip dysplasia usually stay in the hospital for a few days. You should be able to bear weight on the joint at six weeks to three months. You may not be able to put full weight on the joint for up to three months after surgery to allow the hip to heal. Your doctor will watch your progress and let you know when you can begin therapeutic exercises. These activities will strengthen the joint to help you return to your usual activities.