What is a “hip click”?
A “hip click” refers to an audible “click” or “pop” that occurs when a baby’s hips are being examined.
When an infant has a “hip click” it does not mean that a baby has hip dysplasia. While some infants that have a hip click will be diagnosed with hip dysplasia, there are babies with hip clicks that have normal hips.
Why would a baby with normal hips “click”?
There are many ligaments inside an infant’s hip joint that can make snapping or popping noises in certain positions for many different reasons as the baby develops.
A “hip click” is just one sign that hip dislocation may be present in an infant. Further examinations and tests will be needed to know why an infant’s hip is clicking.
So what does a “hip click” mean?
An infant that has a hip click should be monitored for hip dysplasia. It is important for babies to have regular hip examinations during the first year of life. There are documented cases where the hips were normal at birth, but became dislocated in the first few months of life as the baby developed physically.
Even with careful physical examination, hip dysplasia can be difficult to detect in newborn infants. Further tests such as ultrasounds and xrays are normally needed to make a diagnosis for hip dysplasia or to be sure the hip is normal.