Published: Nov. 11, 2010
Updated: Dec. 29, 2010
Hip dysplasia is a deformation or misalignment of the hip joint, which is common in young women and babies.
Hip dysplasia occurs when the acetabulum (hip socket) is too shallow or the femoral head (the ball of the hip joint) is not supported by the socket. The ball of the hip puts force on the labrum (padding) of the hip, which is incredibly painful.
Hip dysplasia is characterized by pain in the groin region that radiates to the outer buttock or thigh, weakness in legs, difficulty walking, loss of mobility or flexibility on one side, limping or waddling, and the distance between legs may appear wider than normal.
Generally, pain in hip dysplasia comes from the irritation and tearing of the hip labrum. The wear and tear caused by this uncovered bone causes the patient immense pain with certain activities. Over time, patients with untreated hip dysplasia may develop arthritis of the hip joint.
Hip dysplasia is subtle and may not be diagnosed readily in adults. Duke doctors use a combination of standard radiography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image the hip and pelvis to diagnose hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia is more common in women than men. This condition is also passed down from generation to generation.
In certain circumstances, an arthrogram (placing dye into the hip joint) can enhance the ability of an MRI to provide information about this hip.
Duke orthopaedic surgeons have collaborated with radiologists at Duke to develop a specialized sequence of magnetic resonance arthrogram (MRA) images that best capture the state of the hip.
This sequence of images provides doctors with a complete view of the hip and ensures that patients with hip dysplasia are accurately diagnosed and appropriate treatment plans are established to treat the pain.
Duke offers patients with adult hip dysplasia relief from their pain through an innovative procedure called a periacetabular osteotomy (PAO).
The goal of PAO is to reorient the hip socket to relieve the patient’s hip pain, while preserving the patient’s hip joint, and hip joint function. If the hip dysplasia condition is diagnosed before significant wear of the hip joint or arthritis develops, patients can often have long term preservation of their own hip joint.
Duke Orthopaedics treats hip dysplasia at locations throughout North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, and Cary, North Carolina.
At Duke Orthopaedics, our doctors offer PAO to treat hip dysplasia. Watch an educational video about this surgery.