Irritable Hip


Hip pain and limping is often common in children. The common cause of this pain is irritable hip. The pain is, however, not severe. It becomes difficult for the hip to support body weight. Children especially boys in the age of 4-10 are commonly affected with irritable hip.


Although the exact cause of irritable hip are not known, some commonly assumed causes include:

  • Swollen synovial membrane
  • Perthes disease
  • Sore throat or chest infection
  • Fall or hip injury


The common symptoms of irritable hip are:

  • Pain in hip, thigh, groin or knee
  • Limping
  • Abnormal crying and crawling
  • Viral Infection in respiratory tract
  • Fever


A physical examination or diagnostic test is done on the patient to confirm irritable hip condition. Blood tests helps to detect any infection in the body. Imaging tests such as X-ray or CT-scan helps to determine any other abnormality or disorders. In vast cases, non-surgical methods are used. Surgery is seldom used for treatment.

  • Non-surgical Treatment:

Non-surgical treatment uses methods to correct irritable hip at home. The commonly used procedures are:

  • Pain-killers

Pain and inflammation in the hip can be relieved using non-steroidal ant-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). Ibuprofen and paracetamol are the most commonly used painkillers. Intake of aspirin is not recommended for children below 16 years of age. Aspirin may result in Reye’s syndrome. It is a condition of liver and brain damage. Heat therapy or massaging is effective to limit symptoms.

  • Bed Rest

Until there is an improvement in the symptoms, a complete bed rest is advised. Bandages are sometimes used to cover the affected area.

  • Hospital admission:

If painkillers and best rest fail to ease the symptoms, then patient is admitted in hospital. Certain tests are done to detect the infection or any other disorder. In hospital, the infected fluid is drained out. Sometimes proper antibiotics are prescribed to treat the discomfort.

  • Surgical Treatment:

Surgery is usually not required to treat irritable hip. The different non-surgical procedures are sufficient to treat this condition.


The duration for recovery is often a fortnight. Sports and other aggressive activities should be avoided for a month. Otherwise, the hip pain and irritation can recur. However, simple healthy exercises such as walking and swimming are recommended.


The possible risks include:

  • Reaction to painkillers
  • Return of irritable hip
  • Infection may spread in whole body
  • Swelling in hip


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