Review Article

Orthopaedic sports injuries in youth: the hip

Andy L. Chang, Carl Cirino, Shawn G. Anthony


As part of the kinetic chain of the lower limb, the hip is a common source of musculoskeletal injury from physical and athletic activity. The diagnosis of pediatric hip injuries has increased dramatically in recent years as youth sports have grown in popularity and competitiveness while diagnostic modalities have also improved. While there are many injuries common to both adult and pediatric populations, young athletes are at risk for unique pathologies due to their open growth plates. The physis is an inherent weak point in long bones, tending to fail at lower pressures or forces than cortical bone. The youth hip is prone to unique physeal injuries including slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) and apophyseal avulsions. Further, young athletes with congenital hip dysplasia can present with degenerative hip conditions typically seen in adult populations. Acute trauma such as labral tears, fractures, and ligamentous injuries require special consideration to avoid long-term, potentially debilitating complications. This article will review the most common pediatric sports hip injuries with a focus on epidemiology, clinical presentation and clinical diagnosis, and evidence-based management.

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