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About one in every 1,000 babies is born with hip dysplasia, a condition in which the ball and socket don’t fit together properly. It’s not uncommon that hip dysplasia doesn’t pose any problems until adulthood, when the structural issue begins to wear down the joint prematurely.
Here at Western Orthopaedics, we want to help you identify when your hip dysplasia is catching up with you. Our team’s resident hip expert, Dr. Brian White, pulled together the following information.
Under normal circumstances, your hip features a socket (acetabulum) that neatly surrounds the ball portion of your joint, which is the top of your thighbone (femur). The fit should prevent your femoral head from slipping out, which is aided by your labrum, the tough tissue that surrounds the rim of your socket to form a seal.
When you have hip dysplasia, the socket is too shallow and doesn’t provide adequate stability for your femoral head.
Throughout your childhood, your hip dysplasia may not have been problematic and you may have functioned perfectly well. Over time, however, the ill fit between the ball and socket in your joint can wear down the cartilage and other connective tissues, such as your labrum.
As a result, you may experience:
These symptoms can come and go, but tend to get more steady (and worse) as you get older and the wear and tear begins to add up.
As an adult, there are generally two solutions for resolving symptomatic hip dysplasia, and both require surgery.
Dr. White favors hip preservation whenever available, but this is only possible if he’s able to address the problem before your hip incurs too much damage and cartilage loss. If this hasn’t occurred, Dr. White teams up with a specialist to perform a two-part procedure: In the first part, Dr. White repairs your labrum and reshapes your femoral head. In the second part, Dr. Presley Swann performs a Ganz osteotomy and cuts the socket free and repositions it for a better fit with your femoral head.
If, however, we find that there’s too much cartilage loss inside your hip joint, a hip arthroplasty, or hip replacement surgery, may be the better option for restoring pain-free movement in your hip.
Of course, it’s impossible to say here which treatment option is right for you until we take a closer look. Through advanced imaging and a review of your symptoms, we can determine the extent of the problem and give you our treatment recommendations.
For a comprehensive evaluation of your hip dysplasia, please contact one of our offices in Arvada or Denver, Colorado, to schedule an appointment with Dr. White.