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Hip Dysplasia Treatment

What is the treatment for hip dysplasia?

Initial treatment usually is conservative. This includes avoiding activities that cause pain in the hip such as ballet, running or yoga. Anti-inflammatories (Motrin, Aleve) can help relieve the pain and improve the function of the hip. Occasionally, the patient will be prescribed an intra-articular injection with local anesthetic and a corticosteroid to help deliver the medication to the source of the pain. At this point, patients also can participate in six weeks of physical therapy that aims to strengthen the muscles around the hip. If these initial conservative treatments do not improve the pain and function of the hip, then surgical treatment will be considered.

The surgical treatment for hip dysplasia involves cutting the bones around the socket in order to alter their position and improve the coverage of the femoral head. This procedure, called a periacetabular osteotomy (PAO), involves making an incision on the front of the hip where the surgeon will cut the pubic bone and then tilt and rotate the acetabulum. The acetabulum is held into place with several screws until the bones are healed. 

Hip arthroscopy is sometimes used first to fix a torn labrum and examine the condition of the cartilage inside the hip. The femur usually has extra bone that is removed with this surgery to prevent further damage to the labrum and acetabular cartilage.

  • What can I expect after surgical treatment?

    Following surgery, the patient remains in the hospital for two to three days. Patients are only partially weight-bearing for one month to allow the bone cuts to heal in an optimal position. During this time, a specialized machine, called a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine, is used to keep the hip moving and prevent scar tissue from forming, which can limit the range of motion of the hip. 

    Patients use crutches to help with walking. After the first month, patients can place more weight on the operative side and work with physical therapists to increase the strength and function of the hip. Recovery generally takes three to six months, though the time varies with each patient.

  • Outcomes following treatment for hip dysplasia

    According to long-term data, about 80 percent of patients who received a PAO are doing well 10 years after the procedure and have not undergone a total hip replacement.

    Surgeons at UK are committed to providing excellent care for their patients. These surgeons have extensive experience performing complex procedures and caring for patients with hip dysplasia. Patients are treated through a comprehensive and individualized approach, with the goal of getting them back into the game of life as soon as possible and ensuring the best long-term outcome.