Find Out Everything You Need to Know About Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia (HD) is a condition where the hip joint becomes dislocated due to abnormal bone formation. HD occurs when the femur head does not fit properly inside the acetabulum. As a result, the hip joint may become loose and painful. In some cases, the hip joint may even need to be replaced surgically.
There are several different types of hip dysplasia including developmental dysplasia of the hip, subluxation of the hip, and congenital dislocation of the hip.
Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip
Developmental dysplasia of the hips is a condition caused by the abnormal formation of bones in the baby’s hip area. In some cases, the hip joints may develop improperly. As a result, the leg bones do not fit correctly in their sockets. This type of hip dysplasia is developmental dysplasia of the hip.
Subluxation of the Hip
Subluxation of the hip refers to the fact that the ball of the femur has slipped out of its socket. This type of hip disorder is sometimes referred to as a loose hip syndrome. When the ball of the femoral head slips out of the acetabulum, the cartilage between the two bones becomes worn down and starts to break down. Eventually, the cartilage wears away completely and the bones begin rubbing together causing severe pain.
Congenital Dislocation of the Hip
Congenital dislocation of the hips means that the hip joint was born without full formation. You can discover this type of problem usually at birth and it requires surgery to fix the damage.
What causes HD?
The cause of HD is unknown. However, research suggests that genetics play a role in the development of HD. A person’s genes influence how their body forms bones. If both parents have HD, then they have a 50% chance of having children who develop HD. Other factors that increase the risk of developing HD include being male, having older siblings, and having certain medical conditions. Many factors contribute to hip dysplasia including:
The first step in diagnosing hip dysplasia is a thorough physical examination. Your veterinarian may perform x-rays of the hips and legs to determine if the hip joints appear normal. If they do not look normal, then you can go for further tests to diagnose hip dysplasia. These tests include blood work, urinalysis, and radiographs (x-rays). Blood work includes testing for serum levels of vitamin D, thyroid stimulating hormone, and parathyroid hormone. Urinalysis will check for proteinuria, glucosuria, and specific gravity. Radiographs will show any abnormalities in the bone structure.
Hip Dysplasia Symptoms
The hip joint is where the thigh bone meets the pelvis bone. If the femur (thigh bone) is not properly aligned, then the hip joint may become damaged. Hip dysplasia occurs when the ball-shaped head of the femur does not fit properly inside the cup-shaped socket of the pelvis. HD often causes pain and discomfort.
- Swelling around the hips
- Difficulty getting up
- Inability to jump
- Painful movement of the hind legs
- Limp while lying down
- Weakness in the rear limbs
- Sudden inability to stand up
- Weight loss
Hip Dysplasia Treatment Options
There are many different types of treatments that can help treat hip dysplasia. These treatments may include physical therapy, medication, surgery, or a combination of these methods. Each type of treatment has its own set of pros and cons.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is a method of treating hip dysplasia that involves strengthening exercises and stretching. Strengthening exercises focus on building muscle around the joint while stretching focuses on lengthening muscles and tendons around the joint. Stretching helps loosen tight muscles and increase flexibility. There are two types of physical therapy; passive and active. Passive physical therapy uses devices to stretch and strengthen muscles without any movement. Active physical therapy requires patients to move their joints through range-of-motion exercises. Both forms of physical therapy have been shown to decrease pain and improve function.
- Medication: Medications are often prescribed if physical therapy does not work. Medications can either be injected directly into the joint or taken orally. Oral medications can take several weeks before they start working. Injections can provide quick relief, but only last about 6 months. If injections do not work, oral medications may be tried. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs are medications that help reduce inflammation in the joints. However, they have many side effects including stomach ulcers, kidney damage, liver problems, and heart disease.
- Surgery: Surgery is the final option for hip dysplasia treatment. Surgeries remove cartilage and bone from a joint that is nonfunctional anymore. After removing dysfunctioning bones, the bones with the help of screws are again put in the right place, plates, rods, pins, or wires. Depending on what was done, recovery time varies between 4-12 weeks.
Final Takeaway on HD
How do I know if I have HD?
If you think you might have HD, talk to your doctor about getting a physical exam. Your doctor will check your hips and legs to determine whether you have HD. He/she will also ask questions about your family history and previous surgeries.
Is there any treatment for HD?
There is no cure for HD. But, treatment options exist to help relieve symptoms. These treatments include pain medications, physical therapy, weight loss, and surgery. You can also go for surgery after conservative measures fail to improve symptoms.
Is there anything else I should know?
You should tell your doctor if you have had problems with your hips before. Also, make sure you get regular physical exams.
How do I know if it is hip dysplasia? Is it painful?
If you suspect you might have hip dysplasia, your doctor can perform a physical exam to determine whether or not you have this condition. Your doctor will check your range of motion, flexibility, and stability of your hips. He/she may ask you to walk on your toes, squat down, and lift your legs off the ground while standing. A positive test result indicates that you have hip dysplasia.
What treatments are available for hip dysplasia? Can they help me avoid surgery?
There are several treatment options for people who suffer from hip dysplasia. These include:
- Physical therapy