JUN 25, 2015 10:01 AM PDT

Hip Dysplasia: A Precursor To Arthritis With Variable Severity

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

Hip dysplasia is a condition causing injury to the hip joint, detectable by an X-Ray. This condition develops when the hip socket is misshapen and incapable of supporting the femoral head part of the joint. The incompatibility of the socket and the femoral head cause abnormal and harmful wear and tear on the hip joint, causing varying degrees of pain and discomfort (International Hip Dysplasia Institute).

Greer Craig, a fitness coach, describes her experience dealing with hip dysplasia. Although initially she experienced minimal pain, her symptoms quickly progressed to a "sharp and stabbing" pain. Craig describes her incidence of pain at its worst: "It didn't matter if I was sitting or standing."

Similar to many other hip dysplasia patients suffering from severe hip pain, Craig chose surgery as her treatment. Pain management treatments are an option for minor cases of the debilitating condition, but either hip preserving surgery or joint replacement surgery is required to completely alleviate the most severe cases (IHDI). After her surgery, Craig depended on her husband to complete daily self-care tasks. "I couldn't even engage my core to sit up," Craig recalls of her abilities post-operation.

The precise cause of hip dysplasia is unknown but certain factors are known to increase risk of developing the condition:

• Family history of hip dysplasia
• Being a firstborn child
• Being female

In addition, because of the variability of hip dysplasia severity, there is not a reliable estimate of its impact in the United States. However, it is known to be the leading cause of hip arthritis, a common condition causing hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. each year to submit to total hip replacement surgery (University of Washington Medicine).
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
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