Hip Dysplasia

Inhip dysplasia, the acetabulum, or hip socket is shallow, meaning that the ball(femoral head) cannot firmly fit into the socket. As a result of this structural abnormality, there is instability and increased stress on the edges of the joint, which can result in pain and early arthritis of the hip. The labrum (hip sealing cartilage) takes forces that should normally be distributed evenly throughout the hip joint. Over time, the smooth articular cartilage becomes frayed and wears away and the labrum becomes torn or damaged causing pain and eventually arthritis.


Hip dysplasia, itself, is not a painful condition. However, pain results when the altered forces in the hip cause inflammation and degenerative changes. In most cases, pain is:

  • In the groin area
  • Occasional and mild initially, but may increase in frequency and intensity over time
  • Worse with activity
  • Some patients also experience locking, catching, and giving way symptoms.


DDH tends to run in families. It can be present in either hip and in any individualand is most commonly diagnosed in babies. If diagnosed and treated early, children are able to develop a normal hip joint and should have no functional limitation. It occurs more often in:

  • First-born children
  • Females
  • Babies born in the breech position
  • Those with a family history


If hip dysplasia is left untreated, it can cause pain, decreased function and eventually osteoarthritis in the hip. Treatments of hip dysplasia include physical therapy, activity restriction, weight loss and/or medication. Typically used in tandem with surgical interventions, non-surgical methods do not treat the underlying medical problems associated with hip dysplasia.


  • Observation
  • Physiotherapy
  • Lifestyle Modification
  • Medications


  • Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive treatment for hips problems. While this method alone cannot correct abnormal orientation of the acetabular rim, it can be used with periacetabular osteotomy. 
  • Periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) is the most common surgical correction of hip dysplasia. The realigning operation is the only surgery that can correct the underlying tilt of the acetabulum.
  • Hip replacement or total hip replacement (THR) replaces an arthritic joint with an artificial one. However, the artificial joint may wear our and require more surgery if done in young patients who are active.
  • Hip resurfacingis a form of hip replacement where the femoral neck and head are preserved but the cartilage is replaced with a metal bearing.

Simplify your orthopedic journey

Our team of dedicated orthopedic specialists are internationally trained to handle hip dysplasia, arthroscopy surgery, replacement and resurfacing. Focusing on each individual to deliver the best possible outcome, we can help to streamline your experience and manage every step of the journey.

Get in touch today. Use ourcontact form to submit an enquiry and one of our specialists will get back to you as soon as possible.

Hip Dysplasia FAQs

What are signs of hip dysplasia in babies?

Many babies are diagnosed with hip dysplasia in the first few months of life. Typically the leg on the side of the affected hip may appear shorter or the fold in the skin of the buttocks or thigh may look uneven. You may also be able to hear a popping noise with movement of your baby’s hip. If you notice any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor immediately.

What helps with hip dysplasia pain?

For babies, there isn’t usually much pain unless left untreated. If you are an adult and experiencing pain from hip dysplasia, there are a few techniques that may relieve your pain while you wait for surgery including: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), using a cane to support your body weight, physical therapy to increase flexibility and strengthen your hip muscles, water exercise classes, or weight loss.

How successful is hip dysplasia surgery?

PAO surgery in many cases is considered successful for a range of hip dysplasia scenarios. When performed before arthritis, patients have successful results even 20-25 years after the procedure.