Infant Signs and Symptoms

Hip dysplasia in babies is most frequently discovered at the time of newborn examinations by physicians but dysplasia and dislocation can develop after this time in some children. This is why hip dysplasia is greatly considered developmental. It is also hard to detect because hip dysplasia is known as a “silent” condition. It does not cause pain in babies and doesn’t normally prevent them from learning how to walk at a normal age.

Signs that parents might notice include:



Swayback is one of many possible signs of hip dysplasia

A baby with Swayback. Note the strong curve in the lower back.

Asymmetrical buttock creases can suggest hip dysplasia in infants but, like a hip click, an ultrasound or x-ray study will need to be done to determine whether the hips are normal or not.
Continue reading about Asymmetry.

Hip Click

Hip clicks or pops can sometimes suggest hip dysplasia but a snapping sound can occur in normal hips from developing ligaments in and around the hip joint.
Continue reading about Hip Clicks.

Limited Range of Motion

Parents may have difficulty diapering because the hips can’t fully spread.


Pain is normally not present in infants and young children with hip dysplasia, but pain is the most common symptom of hip dysplasia during adolescence or as a young adult.


A painless but exaggerated waddling limp or leg length discrepancy are the most common findings after learning to walk. If both hips are dislocated, then limping with marked swayback may become noticeable after the child starts walking.

Learn about Diagnosis »

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