Many people think hip issues only afflict the older population, but they can affect younger people, too. A condition called hip dysplasia may actually be diagnosed anytime from birth into adulthood.
Although not all the causes of hip dysplasia are known, it can often occur when a baby is born with hips that are not seated all the way in the sockets. Being the first born child or being born in breech position allows less room for the legs and stretches the hips. Just being born a girl releases female hormones that contribute to looser ligaments, which in turn may not hold the hips in place firmly enough. A family history of hip dysplasia may also be a risk factor. The vast majority of hip dysplasia patients are women, as much as 80%.
Hip dysplasia can cause arthritis at a younger age or problems during sports and activities, even in childhood. While clicking and popping sounds in the hip may indicate hip dysplasia, most people see a doctor when their hips become painful. With better medical imaging, more treatment options, and longer-lasting hip replacement implants available now, more patients who are younger are seeking medical care for their hip problems.
It's okay to see a doctor before your hips become painful. While some hip noises are due to tight ligaments and may not cause additional problems, some can be warning signs of serious issues to come, if ignored.
It's recommended that you see an orthopedic doctor specializing in the treatment of hip problems for the right diagnosis and treatment. Hip dysplasia is diagnosed with x-rays, but they have to be taken at special angles to properly see the scope of the problem. A specialist is much more likely to take these images the first time around, detecting the problem earlier.
Because hip dysplasia causes a variety of problems, there are a variety of treatments ranging from conservative intervention, such as rest and over-the-counter medications, to surgery. You and your orthopedic doctor will need to decide which treatments are best for your health and lifestyle.