Hip dysplasia may not first appear in the form of hip pain. Many teenagers and young adults live for years not knowing they are walking around with shallow hip sockets. Initially, there may be some benefit from the shallow hip sockets in the form of increased flexibility which allows success at dance, gymnastics, ballet or cheerleading. Hip dysplasia may not be diagnosed until there’s an injury from a misstep or fall.
DDH, at times, may appear as a limp, fatigue, or leg length discrepancy. Sometimes a parent or friend will notice a slight limp that is sometimes a subconscious way of avoiding pain or protecting the hip without being aware of a potential problem.
By far the most common early symptom is sharp pain, or aching in the front of the hip joint – click here for other warning signs.
An early diagnosis may provide an opportunity for a hip preservation surgery. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is advisable to see an experienced orthopedic surgeon because subtle, early hip dysplasia may be difficult to diagnose. The average patient sees 3 health care providers and isn’t diagnosed for 5 years after initial symptoms. Delays in diagnosis are associated with poorer outcomes.