Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

I've always known I have a hip problem called dysplasia. Just the left hip was affected but now I'm starting to have right hip pain. Is this just because I tend to favor that left hip?

Answer:

There's no way to know what's causing the new onset of right hip pain without an exam and possibly some imaging studies. Anyone with unilateral (one sided) developmental hip dysplasia (DDH) can develop problems on the other side from uneven weight-bearing.

According to a new study from Denmark, it's also possible you have DDH on the other side but just don't know it. X-rays don't always show the subtle changes that occur in the hip anatomy that come with DDH. A transverse pelvic CT scan may be needed to identify bilateral (present on both sides) DDH.

Treatment often depends on knowing the exact cause of a problem. Make a follow-up appointment with your doctor before jumping to any conclusions. It could be a simple mechanical problem that can be treated by physical therapy. You may have the start of arthritic changes that can be treated with medication and exercise. Steffen Jacobsen, MD, et al. The Other Hip in Unilateral Hip Dysplasia. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. May 2006. No. 446. Pp. 239-246.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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