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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 of the socket is obliquely inclined, and 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. The labrum is a soft tissue bumper that attaches to the rim of the socket. Once this damage occurs, people often begin experiencing hip pain.

Most people with acetabular dysplasia do not have hip pain during childhood, but many develop pain during adolescence and early adulthood. The pain is typically dull and achy and may be in the groin, side of hip or buttock. Occasionally patients will feel sharp catching pain along with the aching pain.

A hip dysplasia diagnosis is confirmed with an x-ray. An MRI or MRI arthrogram (MRI with dye placed in the hip joint) can assess the condition of the joint cartilage and labrum.

Help is available if you have hip dysplasia — learn more about your treatment options.

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