When the hip joint does not develop properly and the socket is too shallow, hip dysplasia occurs. This allows the ball to slip out of the joint.

Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is infant hip dysplasia. In adolescents and young adults, hip dysplasia is sometimes called acetabular dysplasia. Acetabular dysplasia can be a continuation of DDH.

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What are the signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia?

  • Pain in the hip, thigh or knee
  • Worsening pain with activity
  • Hip joint may pop in and out of place
  • Legs may look uneven (DDH)
  • Inability to fully spread or stretch the affected leg outward

What causes hip dysplasia?

The exact cause of hip dysplasia is currently unknown. It is likely that both environmental and genetic factors play a role.

How is hip dysplasia diagnosed?

  • Physical exam
  • X-rays
  • Additional imaging if necessary:
    • Ultrasound
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • Computed tomography (CT) scan

How is hip dysplasia treated?

Treatment depends on the extent of your child’s condition. There are several non-surgical options to treat hip dysplasia:


  • Pavlik harness
  • Abduction bracing
  • Body casting


  • Activity modification or restriction
  • Physical therapy

Surgery is only necessary in more severe or complicated cases. Connecticut Children’s can determine the right plan to treat your child’s hip dysplasia. Doctors at Connecticut Children’s are the only healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut that offer hip preservation surgeries such as periacetabular osteotomy (PAO).