Baby hip dysplasia is a condition that is often discovered during the examination of a newborn child. But it’s not always immediately identified at that time, as hip dysplasia and even dislocation might evolve much later in children, which is why this condition is often classified as a developmental disorder.
What makes it even more of a challenge to successfully diagnose is that your child will likely feel little to no pain or discomfort when hip dysplasia is present. Nor does this condition have any effect on your infant’s ability to learn how to walk properly.
Signs of Hip Dysplasia
Since this condition isn’t easily detected, you need to be on the lookout for the signs that your infant might be demonstrating hip dysplasia. If the child has any of these symptoms, you might wish to consider consulting a pediatric orthopedic doctor:
These are found on the buttocks of the child, if the creases of the buttocks are asymmetrical, it may be a sign of hip dysplasia. Even if you notice some indications of asymmetry, this does not automatically mean the child has hip dysplasia. You may need to have an ultrasound or x-ray performed to confirm whether or not the hips are undergoing normal development.
Much like with asymmetrical creases, hip click is something that can be a common possible symptom of hip dysplasia yet it’s not a clear-cut indicator of the condition. These are not hard to mistake; you can hear the hip making a click or pop sound in the child. But where this symptom can be misleading is that a child’s ligaments are going to naturally pop and click as the ligaments develop around the child’s hip.
The child may display some limited range of movement in the legs. You may notice this indication of possible dysplasia if the child is unable to spread the hips fully as you are changing his or her diaper. There may also be other signs of limited movement of the hips as the child does other activities that require the legs to open apart. You may also notice your child walking in a strange and seemingly uncomfortable gait.
This is the term for a form of walking that is more akin to a waddle. You may notice the infant moving with a pronounced limp, awkward and unstable. You can also tell by the child’s posture; the back is curved and the child’s entire body seems to be trying to correct this instability. Despite all appearances, the infant is not feeling any pain or discomfort.
While hip dysplasia is not a painful condition, a child may experience some form of discomfort or pain as they get a little bit older, Infants with hip dysplasia won’t typically complain of discomfort, it usually begins to set in as they reach adolescence. The pain can occur for any number of reasons, the child is overcompensating and the hips begin to ache due to the way the child normally walks.