Medical assistance must be sought immediately for children affected by persistent hip pain. This write-up provides information on the contributing factors and treatment.
Though a hip injury is one of the common contributing factors for hip pain in kids, certain serious medical conditions could also be responsible for causing inflammation and pain in the hip joint. Medical help must be sought for treating the underlying medical condition.
- Pain in hips, thighs, or groin
- Tenderness of the hip joint
Transient Synovitis: Children in the age group of 3-10 years are susceptible to a medical condition called transient synovitis. This condition is characterized by transient inflammation of the hip joint. Boys are more likely to get affected by this condition. The affected child might limp, or experience sharp pain, swelling, or a low-grade fever due to the inflammation of tissues around the joint. Sometimes, they might even refuse to walk due to the pain. The pain could also be experienced in the inner knee, inner thigh, or groin. It often follows a viral illness.
Septic Arthritis: This condition may affect children below the age of 4 years. Septic arthritis is caused due to a bacterial infection. An injury to the joint can cause an infection in the joint. If left untreated, it can cause serious damage to the hip joint. In severe cases, surgery might be required for curing this infection. Pain in and around the hip and fever are the characteristic symptoms of this condition. Children affected by this condition might refuse to walk and limp while walking.
Perthes’ Disease: This disease affects the children in the age group of 5-10 years. It is a type of avascular necrosis of the femoral head. This condition is caused due to occlusion of blood flow to the femoral head. Children who have been diagnosed with Perthes’ disease generally experience knee pain and hip pain, and might also limp. The hip movements are also restricted by this condition. In severe cases, it might also lead to leg shortening or proximal muscle wasting.
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis: This condition occurs when the femoral head slips off the neck of the thigh bone. It generally affects boys in the age group of 10-16 years. Those who are obese are more likely to get affected by this medical condition. The symptoms include pain and stiffness in the hip joint, knee pain, pain in the thigh or groin region, and limping.
Besides the aforementioned conditions, hip pain could also be caused due to injuries and hip bone fractures, developmental dysplasia of the hip, osteomyelitis, bone malignanacy, tumors, or rheumatological disorders. The underlying cause can be diagnosed with the help of X-rays, MRI, bone scan, ultrasound, and blood tests. The treatment will vary, depending on the underlying cause.
It might involve drug therapy or surgery. In the early stages, some of the conditions can be treated with the help of antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs, but if the condition worsens, surgery might be required. Perthes’ disease and Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis can also be treated by surgical procedures.
Since hip pain can be attributed to serious medical conditions, medical assistance must be sought if a child complains of pain in and around the hip.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.