Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip socket does not form correctly and can be associated with hip dislocation at birth or abnormal development of the socket as the child grows. This condition, if left untreated, can lead to early hip problems in adulthood, including arthritis. Your child's surgeon may try nonsurgical methods to help the hip develop normally, such as braces or casts.

Older children with hip dysplasia may benefit from the periacetabular or "Ganz" osteotomy to prevent the development of early arthritis. Emory is one of a small number of centers in the region where this osteotomy is performed.

It usually affects the left hip and is predominant in:

  • Girls
  • First-born children
  • Babies born in the breech position (especially with feet up by the shoulders)


  • Legs of different lengths
  • Uneven skin folds on the thigh
  • Less mobility or flexibility on one side
  • Limping, toe walking, or a waddling, duck-like gait


Appropriate evaluation by a pediatric orthopaedic specialist will determine the best treatment options, and will work with you to create a plan of care for your child. Learn more about our treatment options for pediatric hip dysplasia.

Pediatric Orthopedics