The severity of hip dysplasia and the age of the patient will determine the course of treatment. The goal of treatment is to maintain the contact of the femoral head (ball) and the acetabulum (socket), and to decrease pain and preserve the patient’s hip.
How is hip dysplasia treated?
There are several ways to treat hip dysplasia. In mild cases of hip dysplasia, conservative therapy with medication and physical therapy is the may be the first step in treatment. If conservative therapy does not provide pain relief, then you and your provider can explore the idea of surgical intervention.
Oral pain medications can be taken to help relieve the pain and decrease inflammation in the hip. Although medication may help, it is only temporary, and cannot correct hip dysplasia.
Physical therapy/activity modification
Core-strengthening physical therapy and activity modification can help improve the symptoms of hip pain secondary to hip dysplasia. This can help decrease the pain caused by hip dysplasia, but will not correct the lack of coverage of the hip socket is providing to the ball at the end of the thigh bone.
An injection with a combination of an anesthetic (numbing medication) and a corticoid steroid may be recommended to alleviate the pain and inflammation surrounding the hip joint. A hip injection may also be ordered to determine that the hip pain is indeed coming from the hip joint.
One of the treatment options for hip dysplasia in a patient who is age 12 or older is a procedure called periacetabular osteotomy, or a PAO. This orthopedic surgery involves opening up the pelvis and carefully making 4 cuts in the pelvis bone to rotate the acetabulum. Goals of the surgery are to reorient the acetabulum to provide better coverage of the femoral head and to lessen the abnormal forces on the rim of the acetabulum.
A patient’s pain can be alleviated once the amount of pressure that is placed on the acetabular rim is minimized. Another goal of this surgery is to preserve the hip joint and decrease the chance of a patient developing arthritis.
Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado for your child’s hip dysplasia?
By working together as a team, we are able to develop a comprehensive approach to diagnose and treat hip dysplasia. Specialists from our Hip Program offer a broad spectrum of treatment options and extend to include experts in the fields of rehabilitation, physical therapy, rheumatology, anesthesiology and pain.
With a sole focus on hip disease in young patients, our Hip Program is nationally recognized for excellence in hip surgeries, and our doctors educate healthcare providers around the nation on hip diseases and surgery. Our goal is to provide our patients with options for pain control, function improvement and preservation of the hip joint.
Learn more about our Hip Program.