Hip dysplasia: Requires surgery in adults

Hip dysplasia: Requires surgery in adults

Hip dysplasia is a congenital developmental disorder of the hip, which is usually detected in babies using ultrasound and usually heals without consequences with the right therapy. A so-called residual dysplasia, in which the hip does not develop appropriately despite treatment in childhood, is relatively rare today. However, if hip dysplasia in children is overlooked or treated too late, severe damage can result.

If left untreated, there is a risk of joint wear.

Premature wear and tear of the hip joint ( coxarthrosis ) often occurs even in young adults. It is not uncommon for a joint replacement to become necessary at an early stage. We will tell you what symptoms hip dysplasia causes in adults and what treatment options are available.


Hip dysplasia: Symptoms sometimes late

Undetected hip dysplasia can sometimes only lead to the first symptoms in adulthood. Pain in the groin or the side of the hip usually occurs first during sports or heavy exertion. Sudden joint blockages, a feeling of instability or a “buckling” of the joint can also occur.

Osteoarthritis hip pain

If left untreated, hip dysplasia can permanently damage the hip joint. Because of the incorrect loading of the joint surfaces, the joint wears out very quickly – under certain circumstances, painful hip joint arthrosis can occur before the age of 40.

This manifests in severe pain with the slightest exertion and long periods of sitting and standing. Hip mobility is also usually reduced, and the ability to walk is restricted. Those affected are often severely limited in their everyday life and dependent on painkillers.


Diagnosis of “hip dysplasia” by X-ray

In adults, hip dysplasia is usually easily diagnosed by an X-ray. This is an excellent way to assess the shape and position of the hip joint. In addition, it can be seen whether hip osteoarthritis is already present.

By asking about the symptoms (medical history) and a physical examination, the doctor can assess the severity of the symptoms to select the proper treatment method.

Therapy: surgery is usually necessary

Unlike babies, adults with hip dysplasia usually need surgery. Because the malposition of the hip joint must be corrected to prevent further damage to the joint. Various surgical procedures aim to “fit” the femoral head better into the socket and thus achieve a joint position as naturally as possible.

 The so-called triple osteotomy, according to Tönnis, is performed most frequently. The ilium, pubic bone and ischium are severed and reattached in a different position. This reshapes the malformed acetabulum to enclose the femoral head better.

Joint replacement for hip dysplasia

The success of the surgical treatment of hip dysplasia in adults largely depends on how badly the hip joint is already damaged. If there is no or only slight arthrosis, the operation can significantly alleviate the symptoms.

In the case of pronounced wear and tear, however, an artificial hip joint may be the only possibility for an adult with hip dysplasia to live pain-free in the long term.

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