Adult hip dysplasia is a deformation of the hip alignment that is quite commonly encountered out there.
As a matter of fact, this medical affection is so common that it is the most frequently encountered cause of hip arthritis in the case of women.
Also, its causes can be related to a developmental issue or it can be congenital (which means that, unlike the popular belief, this medical condition can affect children as well).
Put shortly, when hip dysplasia starts to develop, the hip will become unable to align with the upper part of the leg.
In most of the cases, this happens just to one of the patient’s legs, but it can happen to both of them as well (case in which the medical condition is referred to as “bilateral dysplasia”).
Causes and Symptoms for Hip Dysplasia in Adults
When hip dysplasia appears at the age of adulthood, it will most likely be an acquired disease. However, it may be that the dysplasia was congenital, but that it was not detected in time.
It is believed that there are quite a lot of cases like this out there and researchers are trying to find a way to help doctors detect hip dysplasia in time.
Developmental causes that lead to hip dysplasia in adults and teenagers can be related to swaddling, to using baby seats that are much too restrictive or to using a cradleboard that forces the baby to bring the knees to the chest (which, in time can lead to pulling the femur bone out of its sockets in the hip).
Breech birth, being a firstborn, gender and the genetic history of a family can be risk factors for developing hip dysplasia as an adult. Furthermore, it has been shown that certain ethnicities may be more predisposed to acquiring such a disease.
The very first symptom a person with hip dysplasia will notice will be a pain in the area of the hip.
However, it can happen quite often that the person notices a limp as well.
Further on, you may want to see if the inside of your hip (where the actual joint is located) does not snap when you force it a little.
Furthermore, do bear in mind that it is quite frequent that the pain appears during the night when hip dysplasia has installed completely and that it will usually become worse after a certain period of time (usually, several months)
The diagnosis of hip dysplasia can be fairly easy to be made and most of the countries out there will have doctors analyze the babies for this malformation as soon as they are born.
Although it can be easily detected, in some cases hip dysplasia may “slip away” and the baby may grow up into adulthood without experiencing symptoms.
When the symptoms do arise, it is important that the patient visits the doctor as soon as possible.
After doing certain maneuvers that may trigger the presence of adult hip dysplasia, the doctor will also have the patient undergo an X-ray or an ultrasound examination, which will confirm whether or not the patient has this malformation.
Is Hip Dysplasia Treatable?
Hip Dysplasia can lead to a serious limp in those who have it, especially if it is not treated in time.
Even more, hip dysplasia can lead to the development of arthritis ever since teenagehood and it can make the patient suffer from chronic hip pain for the rest of his/her life if it is not detected and treated as soon as possible.
In the case of the babies that are detected to have hip dysplasia, a non-surgical treatment can actually be successful and it usually implies the use of a special harness that pushes back the bone into its joint.
However, if hip dysplasia is detected later on in the teenage years or even worse, in adulthood, in most of the cases the doctor will recommend surgery.
There are two types of surgical interventions that can be done in this case.
One of them is the hip preserving surgery (which re-aligns the bone in such a way as to be in a better position), while the other type of surgery is the joint replacement one (case in which the surgeon will use a plastic joint to replace the worn-out one).
It is highly essential that you visit an orthopedist as soon as you start experiencing symptoms that may trigger this affection.
The sooner you will be diagnosed, the better it will be for you!