Ask the Expert: Dr. Ernest Sink, Orthopedic Surgeon, Answers Your Questions on Hip Pain & Conditions

by Dr. Ernest Sink
Dr. Ernest Sink, Pediatric Orthopedic Hip Surgeon

Answers written by: Dr. Ernest Sink, Pediatric Orthopedic Hip Surgeon

Q1: If my child complains of pain in the hip, how do I know it’s not just growing pains? Is there such a thing?

Growing pains are usually in the thighs and legs and not isolated to the hip.  Growing pains occur at the end of the day or at night, are in both legs, and the child continues full activities the next day and runs and plays without any limp or limitations.

Q2: Can hip pain in children be outgrown? 

If it is growing pains they will outgrow the pain but again growing pains are pain in both legs at night or the end of the day that do not effect the child’s activity, there is no limp or fever, and the child is usually younger.

Q3: Growing up, I had a history of hip dysplasia. Does this mean my child’s chances of dysplasia are higher? What should I look out for?

If the parent has a history of dysplasia the child should be screened with an x-ray or with an ultrasound of the hip as an infant 6 weeks to 4 months of age.  Hip dysplasia can be inherited.  There are no specific findings in children with mild dysplasia.  A limp, shorter leg or pain are things to look for, but again if there is a family history the child should be screened.

Q4: What are the most common causes of hip pain in kids? And how does a parent know when it is serious?

The common causes depend on the age of the child.  Hip pain is not common in children so any persistent complaints of hip pain should be evaluated by a physician.  In general the common causes of hip pain are: hip dysplasia, Perthes disease (where the blood flow to the femoral head is disrupted), SCFE (slipped capital femoral epiphysis) and hip impingement in adolescents.

Dr. Sink reminds parents, “Hip pain diagnosis is often complex and the child’s specific age, undergoing an exam and having x-rays taken are often needed to arrive at a correct diagnosis.”

Topics: Facebook Notes, Orthopedics, Pediatrics
Tags: , ,
The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.

Comments

Clifford Toddy says:

Whenever you use the hip (for example, by going for a run), a cushion of cartilage helps prevent friction as the hip bone moves in its socket. Despite its durability, the hip joint isn”t indestructible. With age and use, the cartilage can wear down or become damaged. Muscles and tendons in the hip can get overused. The hip bone itself can be fractured during a fall or other injury. Any of these conditions can lead to hip pain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>