About Hip Dysplasia

In acetabular dysplasia, the hip socket is poorly developed, resulting in a socket that is shallow and shaped like a saucer, rather than a cup. The top part of the socket is obliquely inclined, and it incompletely covers the ball. This results in abnormally high stress on the outer edge of the socket (also called acetabulum) and leads to early damage to the acetabular articular cartilage (white substance on the end of a chicken bone) or the adjacent acetabular labrum. Once this damage occurs, individuals often begin experiencing hip pain.

Most individuals with acetabular dysplasia do not have hip pain during childhood. However, during adolescence and early adulthood, many of these individuals develop pain. The pain is typically dull and achy and may be in the groin, side of hip or buttock. Occasionally individuals complain of sharp catching pain in association with the aching pain.

The diagnosis is confirmed with an x-ray. Occasionally, the orthopaedic surgeon will obtain an MRI arthogram (MRI with dye placed in the hip joint) to get a better look at the condition of the joint cartilage and labrum. The labrum is a soft tissue bumper that attaches to the rim of the socket. Learn more about hip dysplasia treatment options

To learn more about hip dysplasia, visit the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.