Hip dysplasia in the adolescent and young adult

What is hip dysplasia?

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. Normally, the femoral head is well covered by the hip socket or acetabulum. Hip dysplasia, sometimes referred to as acetabular dysplasia, occurs when one or more areas of the hip joint have not developed properly. Teenagers and young adults with hip dysplasia may complain of hip pain. They may experience pain with walking, running and contact sports.


The abnormality causes stress on the soft tissue that lines the hip socket and also strains the hip cartilage and bone. If hip dysplasia is not treated, the cartilage may wear away, and arthritis may develop.

Hip dysplasia should not be confused with another hip condition called acetabular impingement, which occurs when the femoral head does not fit well into the hip joint. 


Meet Alana and Nicole.

The two dancers met at an audition and quickly realized they'd had the same surgery for hip dysplasia.

Read their story

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Download our patient fact sheet for hip dysplasia to learn more about treatment options, view helpful illustrations and find out how the hip specialists in Boston Children’s Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program provide comprehensive care throughout each patient’s treatment.