Irritable hip is a condition that is characterized by swelling of the hip joint. It is a prevalent trigger of hip pain and limping in children between the ages of three and ten.

Doctors also call the irritated hip acute transient synovitis or toxic synovitis. It is most prevalent between the ages of three and ten years and is more prevalent in boys than girls.

The tissues surrounding the hip joint swell; most frequently, hip pain may radiate to the groin, thigh, and knee in one hip.

While the signs may be alarming and inconvenient, irritable hip is a relatively mild condition that lasts two weeks.


If your child suffers from the irritable hip:

  • They may walk with a limp or have difficulty crawling or standing.
  • They may complain of hip, groin, thigh, or knee pain.

Some children may simply refuse to walk for no apparent reason. Most of the time, one side is always affected. Children who have irritable hips are otherwise healthy.


A physical examination is followed by questioning the child, parent, or caregiver by the doctor, who is typically a primary care physician, to determine whether the child is suffering from any ailments.

If they suspect an inflammation, they may also request imaging tests such as an X-ray or a blood sample to rule out the possibility of a bacterial infection.

In medical practice, differential diagnoses are frequently used.

Certain conditions can resemble the signs of the irritable hip:

  • Perthes disease: This illness impedes blood flow to the hip, causing extensive damage to the femur head or thighbone.
  • A tumor in the hip: This can resemble the ailments of an irritable hip.
  • Fracture or contusion: Both of these hip injuries can result in an outburst.
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis: For unspecified reasons, this sort of persistent acute inflammation appears to happen in children under 16. It may result in hip problems.


The child should be kept home from school and nursery groups. They should avoid all sports activities until the pain subsides completely. Symptoms typically begin to resolve within three days of rest and should resolve completely within two weeks, though they may last five weeks.

Generally, a child with an irritable hip does not require hospitalization.

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