Hip dysplasia – to surgery or not to surgery?

I found out my hip was semi dislocated when I was about 15,  I began getting really bad pain in my left hip/groin area and my hip kept giving way meaning a fell alot more than normal. After speaking to my physio she sent me to see a surgeon who said that hip dyplasia in people with CP is very common. I had a number of scans and finally found out that my hip socket hadn’t formed properly so everytime I walked my hip popped in and out of the joint which obviously was the cause of the pain.

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What is Hip Dyplasia?

Hip dyplasia is when the hip joint isn’t formed correctly, it is in the wrong position or bits of the joint haven’t formed at all. All of these things mean that the hip joint will wear down quicker as it is under more pressure than a regular hip joint.


  • Hip pain
  • Groin pain
  • Stiffness
  • Reduced flexibility
  • A limp
  • Popping/clicking

Possible causes

  • Family history – If a child’s parent/brother or sister has Development hip dysplasia they’re 5 times more likely to develop hip problems.
  • Breech position/pregnancy conditions – If there isn’t much fluid in the womb the child isn’t able to move around much in the womb meaning it may be more likely to develop problems.
  • Other disabilities – If a child has cerebral palsy,  spinal cord problems or any other muscle disorders it makes them more likely to develop DDH (Developmental dysplasia of the hip)

So after findng out what was causing my pain I had to have even more tests to find out how they could treat me, normally with hip dyplasia in older people a surgeon would suggest a full hip replacement but because of my age they said a hip replacement wouldnt be any good as it would need redoning within a year or two. Obviously a full hip replacement isn’t something any 15 year old would want to go through every couple of years so I declined and decide to do my own research and see if i could find an easier solution. After looking online I found that treating hip dysplasia in a young child or baby is a lot easier than treating a child meaning that I wasn’t left with many options.

Treatments of Hip Dysplasia

    • Pavlik harness – A Pavlik Harness is normally given to babies under 6 months its used to keep the child’s hips in the correct position and normally has to be worn for 6 weeks or more.
    • Closed reduction and hip spica – This method is used when the child is over 6 months or the Pavlik harness hasn’t worked, this involves being put under anaesthetic while a surgeon correctly positions the hips before putting them in cast to keep them in place.
    •  Open reduction – This option is used when your child is much older, they will be put under anastetic, this operstion is where the tendons around the hip joint are loosened and anything stopping the hip from moving freely is remived .

If like me you’re a lot older when hip dysplasia is diagnosed then it becomes a lot harder to treat with more serious operations being needed. Again if like me you dont want any hip replacements just yet I’m afraid there isn’t much we can do. I’ve been told that because of my age my best option is taking pain killers and not putting too much pressure on my hip joints. Unfortunately leaving hip dysplasia without treatment has left me with bad arthritis in my left hip which means I’m in more pain and as I get older I regret not going down the surgery route.

Has anyone else suffered from hip dysplasia? I’d love too hear your stories!

Any questions just ask and I’ll try my best too answer them below.


7 thoughts on “Hip dysplasia – to surgery or not to surgery?

  1. I had a hip replacement at 21 I I’m know 23 and it has been great! No more pain and is less barbaric than hip reconstruction surgery.
    You need to think about it and the recovery is hard but worth it in the long run. I have not dislocated due my tone and spasticity. You need to have a very good team surgeons on board. I use to be on morphine but no pain free and can do all things I want to do. Email me for more information if you want.


    • Its good to hear someone whos had a good experience of hip replacement as I was very optimistic! I’m so glad you’re now pain free I know how awful it can be! Do you find your mobility has improved? They told me mine would improve with surgery.
      Thanks for reading the blog! 🙂


      • Compared to my other option which was reconstructive surgery it was a no brainer. Get your surgeon to contact Brian singer consultant Orthopeadics in Perth Royal infirmary Scotland . I’m quite happy to discuss recovery etc. yes it has improved my mobility no end. I’ve provided my personal email in the submitted form email me and we can chat further!


  2. I think at the end of the day it is your decision weather to have surgery or not. My husband had surgery on his arm without it I think he would of made the wrong choice.it’s that answer you’ve got to decide is it worth it or not.


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