What is Hip Retroversion?
Hip retroversion also known as femoral retroversion is a rotational deformity in which the hip is rotated outward in relation to the knee. Hip retroversion can develop in one or both legs in both children and adults.
What are the Causes of Hip Retroversion?
The exact cause of hip retroversion is not clear. However, it may occur due to:
- A genetic mutation
- Tightness of the muscles of the hip that cause the hip to rotate excessively to the outside
- Abnormal development of the baby in the womb
- Childhood trauma or fracture
- A bone malformation in which the lower section of the upper leg bone (femur) is externally twisted relative to the upper portion of the upper leg bone (femur)
What are the Symptoms of Hip Retroversion?
Signs and Symptoms of hip retroversion may include:
- Out-toeing or duck walk: the footpoints outwards
- Abnormal gait (walking style)
- Tripping during walking or running activities
- Pain in the hips and/or knees
- Degeneration or arthritis of the hip
- Low back pain
Diagnosis of Hip Retroversion
Your doctor will review your symptoms, medical history, family history, and growth. A thorough physical examination of the legs, hips, and feet is performed to check the bone deformity, abnormal gait, and out-toeing. In addition, the strength of the muscles in the lower limbs and range of motion will also be checked.
Imaging tests such as X-ray, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), or a CT (contrast tomography) scan may also be recommended to confirm the diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
What are the Treatments for Hip Retroversion?
Non-surgical treatments for hip retroversion include:
- Oral medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to resolve pain and inflammation.
- Orthotic devices such as insoles, knee braces, and crutches to provide walking support
- Physical therapy in the form of massage and exercises
- Pain relief injections into the affected joint to resolve the pain and inflammation
Surgery is recommended for severe hip retroversion and those cases which fail to heal despite conservative therapy. During the surgery, a femoral osteotomy is done through a small portal incision and an intermedullary rod is placed through the femur to correct the torsional deformity. The procedure usually has a quick and reliable recovery.