Transient synovitis of the hip – Unpleasant for the child and Unsettling for the parent

Transient synovitis of the hip is the most common cause of abnormal walking in children. In other words, it is also called toxic synovitis and irritable hip. It is usually seen after a recent viral infection like a common cold. Although it can happen at any age, it is most often seen between 3 to 10 years of age.  Boys are more commonly affected. However, there is nothing to panic, it recovers with rest over some time.

The exact cause is not known. It may be caused by the substances produced by the body’s immune system which fight against the recent viral infection.

It usually presents with sudden onset abnormal walking patterns or difficulty in crawling or difficulty in standing. Most often one side is affected. Older children complain of pain in the groin, hip, thigh or knee. In addition, children feel unpleasant and refuse to walk. However, children are fine with a nontoxic look.

Transient synovitis of the hip will get better with rest. Mild non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are enough to aid in the recovery.

Unsettling for the parents – Visit Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon

Parents should consult a Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon if the following red flags signs are present –

                If the child develops a high-grade fever

                If the child is not moving the limb at all

                If the child is not allowing even the parents to touch the limbs

                If the child is not standing or walking

                If there is a rest pain or persistent pain that is not relieved by mild analgesic

                If the condition is not showing improvement in three days

                If the condition has not recovered fully in two weeks

Key points to settle the parent’s concern –

Transient synovitis of the hip is the mild condition. After that, it will get better on its own. However, a vigilant watch is needed to avoid the unwanted.

Know more –