Hip disorders are important and early diagnosis imperative to optimise clinical outcomes.
Hip conditions include orthopaedic problems but may also include inflammatory arthritis (albeit unusual as monoarthritis).
The potential for referred pain from the spine or pelvis (including non-musculoskeletal pathology such as hernia, testicular torsion, psoas abscess and appendicitis) should be considered.
Red flags prompt concern for life threatening conditions (infection and malignancy) in all age groups.
The likelihood of cause and presentations varies by age-group.
New onset of limp in a teenager should prompt concern about Slipped Upper [Capital] Femoral Epiphysis, whereas in an infant, a delayed presentation of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip is more likely. The young school aged child should raise concern about Transient synovitis 'irritable hip' or Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.
The radiograph below shows changes of Legg-Calve-Perthes at the right hip.