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What is hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia in children is also termed DDH, or developmental dysplasia of the hip. It is a condition where the hip joint has failed to form properly. This results in the hip joint being partly or fully dislocated (out of joint).

Most people with hip dysplasia are born with it. If caught early enough–usually within six months after birth–it can be treated non-surgically. As children grow, treatment becomes more complicated and surgery necessary.

If the dislocated hip is left untreated, the child walks with a limp and the affected leg will be two inches shorter. In early adulthood, pain usually occurs, causing progressive disability. The condition will often manifest with both hips dislocated, causing considerable problems with walking and pain in later life.

What issues do children with hip dysplasia face?


If left untreated, hip dysplasia will often become progressively painful. When the hip(s) are dislocated, the child will limp.


Children with visible disabilities can be vulnerable to bullying and exclusion.

Limited Mobility

As children grow, the affected leg will be shorter. In early adulthood, walking will become more painful.

How does surgery change a child’s life?

  • Surgery will put the hip back into the joint. In the countries where CURE serves, children are not usually diagnosed before two to three years of age. At this stage, major surgery is often needed to stabilize the hip joint and help it form properly.
  • After surgery, the child is placed in a body cast (hip spica) for six weeks. Once removed, the child learns to walk and run again. Recovery typically takes three to six months, and we monitor children to confirm the hip joint is developing well.

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CURE Niger’s mission is to provide every child living with a disability the physical, emotional, and spiritual care they need to heal. If you have questions about becoming a patient or a partner with CURE, please contact us.

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