Hip Dislocation

What Is a Hip Dislocation?

A hip dislocation happens when extreme force is put on the ligament that connects the hip joint. The force causes the ball (femur) to partially or completely come out of the socket (acetabulum).

Signs of Hip Dislocation

  • Pain in the hip
  • Swelling in the hip
  • Problems moving normally
  • Bruising or redness around the hip

If your child has symptoms, talk with your health care provider, since broken bones can happen with a dislocation.

Diagnosis

A health care provider can make a diagnosis with a physical exam. An X-ray or MRI may be used to confirm the hip is dislocated.

Treatment for Hip Dislocation

If your child has a dislocated hip, we can work with you on a treatment plan that will support your child every step of the way. The treatment goal is to put the head back into the socket of the hip and to make sure the socket is deep, so your child’s hip can develop normally.
Treatment plans will be based on:

  • Your child’s age, current health and health history
  • The level of the dislocation
  • How your child reacts to certain medicines, procedures and therapy

Treatment options include:

  • I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation)
  • A splint or cast, which helps keep the hip in place to align the joint so it can heal
  • Pain-control medicine
  • Traction, which can help stretch the muscles and tendons around the bone ends to help ease the dislocation
  • Surgery (VDRO or Salter pelvic osteotomy), especially if the hip becomes dislocated often or a muscle, tendon or ligament is badly torn
  • Crutches or wheelchair to aid healing
  • Physical therapy

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