Children's Hospital Colorado

Hip Pain in Children: Diagnosis and Management (S1:E28)

Hip pain is a common childhood and adolescent problem with a broad range of causes. Some cases are benign, others could be potentially devastating. The most common cause of hip pain in older adolescents stems from simple overuse.

Primary care providers working with kids will likely encounter cases of hip pain in their young patients. Simple examinations start with watching the child walk, looking at the range of motion and hip extension the child can achieve comfortably, and assessing pain levels. In some cases, more thorough examinations and imaging may be required to rule out specific conditions.

Listen to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon discuss the causes of pediatric hip pain

In this episode, Stephanie Mayer, MD, joins us to share her insights on diagnosing hip pain in pediatric patients. We're discussing this issue from its symptoms and causes to how to manage hip pain.

Dr. Mayer is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Children's Colorado. She loves working with a young, active and healthy adolescent population, and values helping her patients develop self-confidence through physical activity.

In this episode, our expert shares:

  • The common hip pain causes to watch for in adolescents.
  • Which sports most commonly lend themselves to hip pain.
  • Practices for starting an evaluation of the child's hip pain and their injury.
  • The importance of patient history when dealing with and considering hip pain.
  • The questions to ask, signs to look for and specifics to consider when diagnosing hip pain in children.
  • How to differentiate between infection and oncologic hip injuries.
  • Signs and factors that could indicate a patient's hip pain is systemic or rheumatological and when it's time to look for Lyme disease.
  • How to determine where hip pain in kids originates from and which conditions to consider.
  • Insights into how the mechanical indicator that the cause of hip pain is slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE).
  • Thoughts on diagnosing and addressing other causes of hip pain such as Legg-Calvé-Perthes.
  • Considerations about urgency and when it's time to refer the child to an orthopedic specialist.
  • When and why it's appropriate to order an MRI early on.
  • The central role imaging plays in determining a proper hip pain treatment plan and the right time to order an X-ray for hip pain.
  • The benefits of getting images of the child's entire hip versus radiation exposure.

Healing hip pain in kids at Children's Colorado

Children and adolescents with hip pain are treated by our Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery Department. Our pediatric orthopedic surgeons work in partnership with orthopedic and rehabilitation medicine specialists at Children's Colorado to provide the safest and most effective surgical treatments for kids. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.