Objective: The purpose of this article is to review the clinical and imaging features as well as the potential complications of hip dysplasia in the young adult. Hip dysplasia is an important cause of secondary osteoarthrosis, which accounts for a significant proportion of patients requiring total hip arthroplasty. The radiographic diagnosis of mild hip dysplasia in the young adult may be subtle and is primarily based on the detection of deficient coverage of the femoral head by the acetabulum.
Conclusion: Cross-sectional imaging, including CT and MRI, afford improved detection and characterization by providing morphologic information about acetabular deficiency. MRI also allows evaluation of potential associated injuries to the articular cartilage, the labrum, and the ligamentum teres. Familiarity with the radiographic and cross-sectional imaging findings of mild hip dysplasia in the young adult may allow a timely diagnosis and implementation of treatment strategies, which may prevent or delay the development of early osteoarthritis.