Treatment

Hip dysplasia treatment depends on the age of the affected person and the extent of the hip damage. Infants are usually treated with a soft brace, such as a Pavlik harness, that holds the ball portion of the joint firmly in its socket for several months. This helps the socket mold to the shape of the ball.

The brace doesn't work as well for babies older than 6 months. Instead, the doctor may move the bones into the proper position and then hold them there for several months with a full-body cast. Sometimes surgery is needed to fit the joint together properly.

Specialized surgeries for children and adults

Older children and adults usually require surgery to correct hip dysplasia. In mild cases, the condition can be treated arthroscopically — using long-handled tools and tiny cameras inserted through small incisions.

If the dysplasia is more severe, the position of the hip socket can also be corrected. In a periacetabular (per-e-as-uh-TAB-yoo-lur) osteotomy, the socket is cut free from the pelvis and then repositioned so that it matches up better with the ball.

If dysplasia has severely damaged your hip, your doctor might recommend hip replacement surgery.