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Hip Program

Contact number | 202-476-2112

Children’s National is the only pediatric program in the Washington, D.C., area with expertise in hip disorders. Our orthopaedic specialists offer comprehensive care and hope to children and young adults with hip disorders. 

The Hip Program at Children’s National: Why Choose Us?

At Children’s National, our nationally ranked orthopaedic program is making a difference in the lives of children with hip disorders. Whether your child was born with a (congenital) hip condition, developed one, or acquired one through injury or orthopaedic trauma, we deliver the best available care.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Advanced surgical treatments: Part of what makes our program unique is our surgical expertise. From surgical hip dislocations to minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures, we help children achieve excellent outcomes.
  • Safe and accurate diagnosis: We use a range of imaging techniques, including advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies to explore blood flow and cartilage in the hip.
  • Preventative care: The hip preservation program at Children’s National is dedicated to helping children with complex conditions delay or prevent the need for hip replacement surgery.
  • Expertise: Our orthopaedists participate on boards and special committees of professional societies focused on pediatric hip disorders. We also are training the next generation of pediatric hip experts through our orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine fellowship program.
  • Research: We are proud members of the International Perthes Study Group, a distinguished group of more than 40 orthopaedic surgeons and researchers from around the world who work to advance knowledge and care for patients with Perthes disease. Together, we are improving care and treatment for pediatric hip disorders.

Hip Conditions We Treat

Orthopaedists on our team have a special interest in pediatric hip disorders. This helps us deliver the best available care and treatment.

To learn more about the hip conditions we treat, it’s first helpful to understand how the hip works. The hip is a “ball and socket” joint:

  • The socket is a part of your pelvic bone. It’s large and flat with a cup-like opening.
  • The ball is part of your thighbone (femur). Also known as the femoral head, the rounded top portion of the thighbone fits snugly into the hip socket.

Hip problems can be the result of problems with the ball, the socket, or the layer of cartilage that protects the surfaces of each bone.

Hip conditions we treat include:

  • Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH): This condition happens when the ball and socket of the hip joint fall out of normal alignment. Children with this condition may have a shallow socket or the ball part of the joint may completely slip out of the socket. Children diagnosed with DDH as newborns are most often treated successfully without surgery.
  • Hip dysplasia in children and young adults: Some children experience misalignment in their hip joint (hip dysplasia) due to complications from birth or early childhood. In this type of hip dysplasia, the socket is not deep enough, which makes it difficult for ball portion of the joint function normally.
  • Slipped capital femoral epihphysis: This condition happens when the ball part of the hip joint slips off of thigh bone. Epihphysis occurs in the pre-teen or early teen years and often requires surgery.
  • Avascular necrosis (AVN): AVN happens when bone tissue weakens and decreases in strength due to a loss of blood flow. When this happens, the ball portion of the joint flattens, making it difficult for the hip to function normally.
  • Femoroacetabular impingement (impingement syndrome): Impingement syndrome happens when the ball and socket rub together in an abnormal way. This causes pain and can wear away the cartilage.  
  • Labral tears: A protective ring of cartilage (labrum) lines the socket part of the hip joint. A labral tear can occur as a result of a sudden injury (orthopaedic trauma) or congenital hip deformities.
  • Hip disorders associated with childhood diseases: Hip disorders can arise due to complications of certain childhood diseases, including sickle cell diseaseskeletal dysplasia and cerebral palsy.

Contact Us

For more information or to make an appointment, call us at 202-476-2112.

Hip Program Team