Doctors usually look for hip dysplasia during well baby visit. The physical examination is done by moving the baby’s legs to several different positions and directions to ensure the hip joints are fitted well.
Mild hip dysplasia can be difficult to diagnose since the signs are not clear when patients are young. Imaging tests, such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be advised if any suspicious signs are detected.
The treatment method of hip dysplasia varies on the age and severity of the hip. Infant patients are oftentimes given a soft brace for treatment. For instance, a Pavlik harness, is designed to hold the ball area of the joint tightly in the socket for a few months. This process facilitates the socket to mold into the shape of the ball.
The soft braces however, do not work well with patients over 6 month-old. The doctor may align the bones to the right position and hold them with a full-body cast for the next several months. Surgery may be required in some cases to align the joint together.
Moreover, the angle of the hip socket will be corrected if the alignment is severe. Periacetabular osteotomy is a surgical procedure that cuts the socket to separate it from the pelvis and repositioned it to properly align the ball-and-socket joint of the hip.
Elderly patient with hip dysplasia may encounter a chronic hip pain which can result in a hip replacement surgery.