Dysplasia of the Hip
Dysplasia of the hip can lead to disabling hip pain due to the cartilage wearing out prematurely. This results from abnormal development of the hip joint during in utero development and in infancy the hip is not positioned properly to form the normal deep socket that is needed for a normal hip.
Fortunately, now there is a very high awareness of this problem, and pediatricians and obstetricians always screen for this routinely. Every newborn is examined many times in infancy to find and treat this problem. When caught early it can be treated by simply wearing a harness for several months.
Discovered as an older child, more complicated surgical interventions are needed to reposition the hip.
It is not unusual for an adult to start experiencing a new pain in the hip only to learn from X-rays that the hip has deteriorated due to a mild dysplasia of the hip previously un-diagnosed. If the deformity and damage are mild, the hip socket or acetabulum can be rotated by making some very precise bony cuts around the outside of the socket and restore a more normal and deeper shape to the socket. These bony cuts comprise the Ganz Osteotomy procedure. This is sometimes treated with a bony cut of the femur bone as well to re-position the head in the socket.
Far more often the degenerative change has progressed so far that the best option is replacement of the joint, and Total Hip Replacement is performed. With newer, longer–lasting bearing surfaces such as Ceramic on Ceramic and Metal on Metal, we believe these replacements will last many years longer than the conventional metal on plastic replacement that historically has lasted 10 -15 years.