Evaluation of paediatric hip pain

Br J Hosp Med (Lond). 2023 Jul 2;84(7):1-10. doi: 10.12968/hmed.2023.0054. Epub 2023 Jul 12.


Hip pain in a child can pose a diagnostic conundrum. In most cases, the cause of a painful hip is often attributed to trauma, but a number of these cases will be atraumatic. The main entities to consider are inflammatory, infective and neoplastic causes. Pathologies such as avascular necrosis and slipped upper femoral epiphysis can also present in a similar manner. A detailed history and clinical examination are crucial in narrowing down the differential diagnosis. In addition, understanding the most appropriate imaging modalities and the characteristic radiological findings is key in ensuring timely treatment and management. This article reviews the various disease processes in children who present with hip pain and outlines the most appropriate assessment and imaging modalities that will aid diagnosis.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Hip; Limp; Paediatric; Painful; Radiology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthralgia* / etiology
  • Child
  • Femur
  • Hip* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Pain / etiology