Chronic pain can be an awful medical condition to live with and even adults can find it very difficult. And out of all the types of chronic pain out there, hip pain is most definitely among the most common ones, especially with people that are past a certain age.
Surprisingly though, hip pain can affect children as well and if you want to find out more about the causes that can lead to such a medical condition in the case of children, then you should read on.
Hip Pain – No Age Restriction
For starters, you should understand that hip problems can be completely unrelated to someone’s age and that in children it can have three major causes: an infection, a congenital medical condition or overusing the hip.
Even more, you may be surprised to find out the fact that it can sometimes happen that the child feels pain in the knee even though the hip is the problematic part of the body.
Transient Synovitis – an Inflammatory Condition
One of the most common medical conditions causing hip pain in children is transient synovitis. This is an inflammatory condition that can affect children from ages 2 to 8 and which is most common in those aged 6. Also, this medical condition appears more frequently with boys than it does with girls (with a 2:1 ration).
Transient synovitis usually develops after a cold or after an upper respiratory infection, which may be the main reason for which it appears more in the fall and in the winter than in other seasons.
This inflammatory condition is treatable and in case a child has been diagnosed with it, the main things that will be prescribed will be resting and analgesics. The symptoms usually disappear within 2 weeks and there is no actual proof that the condition may have long-term effects.
Septic Arthritis – Infection of the Joints
Another very common medical condition that causes children to feel hip pain is septic arthritis. Put shortly, this is an infection of the joint and it usually affects the knee, but the hip and other parts of the body can be affected as well.
Diagnosing the medical condition earlier in children is usually very difficult to do because they may not show symptoms and because it can be very easily mistake with transient synovitis or with trauma.
However, the red flags you should be looking for are fever, inability to use the joint and, at a further examination, a high level of ESR and/or CPR. Although septic arthritis can appear at basically any age, toddlers and pre-school children are more commonly affected by it.
Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip – a Developmental Issue
Another fairly common medical condition that can cause hip pain in children is the developmental dysplasia of the hip. This is an affection that causes one or both of the hip joints to develop abnormally and leads to a condition where the thigh bone cannot fit into the socket. There are various levels at which this developmental medical issue can affect the children.
In the very mild cases, there is no tightness between the hip bone and the thigh bone, while in the very severe cases the thigh bone comes out of the socket partially or completely.
Symptoms of developmental dysplasia of the hip include hip joints that feel loose (or even slip completely out of place when they are examined), difference between the length of the hip, a difference in the way one hip moves (as compared to the other) and folds of skin on the interior part of the hip.
Also, you should know that there can be multiple risk factors when it comes to this medical condition, including the way the baby is delivered (caesarian deliveries tend to be less dangerous from this point of view), whether or not the baby is a firstborn or not (firstborns being at more risk), the sex of the baby (60% of the children who show this medical condition are girls) or if the baby has a sibling suffering from the very same condition.
Developmental dysplasia of the hip can be managed both through surgical and through non-surgical methods. It is extremely important that the medical condition is diagnosed as early as possible, because this lowers the chances that the child will need surgical intervention.
Bracing the hip with a special harness is a common non-surgical methodthat helps the patient manage the medical condition. As for surgery, it should be done as early as possible because the later the patient has it, the more chances there are he/she will need extensive procedures as well (such as a soft tissue stabilization of the joint).