Hip pain among children is often brought about by irritable hip. Luckily, it settles on its own. Nevertheless, a doctor should be consulted for further assessment since it might be a sign of a serious condition.
When to consult a doctor
If there is abrupt hip pain or discomfort in the knee or thigh, a doctor should be seen as soon as possible.
The child might have irritable hip which is defined as inflammation of the hip joint. In most cases, it is not serious and settles on its own. On the other hand, assessment by a doctor is necessary to rule out other conditions such as septic arthritis or a fracture.
What happens during an appointment?
The doctor will determine the root of the pain by:
- Physical assessment of the hip, knee or leg of the child
- Gently moving the leg in various directions
- Asking about any recent ailments or injuries
Request an X-ray of the affected area
In some instances, a blood test or other imaging tests might be requested.
Management of irritable hip
It is important to note that irritable hip generally settles within 1-2 weeks and does not result to any lasting issues.
The child can be taken care of at home. Oftentimes, hospitalization is necessary for a few days if the pain is significant.
Some of the measures to observe when caring for child include:
- Making sure that the child rests his/her leg until it starts to feel better.
- Provide a pain medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- Any follow-up appointments given by the doctor should be followed.
The child should not be allowed to engage in activities that places significant strain on the hip for at least 2 weeks. Once he/she starts to feel better, the child can gradually resume normal activities. In most cases, swimming is suggested as an ideal way to keep the joint mobile again.