Wed. Jul 24th, 2024
Hip click in babies: what it is and how to treat it

Hip clicking is a small problem that can affect your baby at birth. We tell you what exactly it is.

There are some health problems that can affect the newborn. A priori they do not imply important consequences, but it is important that they are detected in time in order to avoid future complications. One of these abnormalities is  the hip click .

It is a small problem that affects approximately 3-5 boys or girls for every 1000 newborns. In addition, it is easy to identify and does not carry seriousness.


When babies are born, one of the things that medical personnel pay attention to is their hips, which are not yet ossified and whose main composition is cartilage.

The examination will be of great importance and after a few simple maneuvers, the pediatrician will be able to know if there is a problem or not. If something happens, it can be:

  • Congenital dysplasia or dislocation: When the baby’s hip is out of the place it should be, so you will have to go to a child orthopedist.
  • Hip click: When the hip is in place, but has a tendency to instability or oscillation. In this case it will not be necessary to refer the baby to a specialist.

Thus, hip click is the propensity or tendency for the baby’s hip to move out of its original position. Its name is due to the fact that, when it comes out, the hip makes a slight noise, as if it were a click.


If hip clicking is not accompanied by joint instability, no treatment is needed. Of course, the pediatrician’s instructions must be followed, and an ultrasound will be carried out in the first month of life to assess the condition and confirm that everything is progressing properly. It must be taken into account that radiographs of the hips before 6 months are useless, because there are few structures that are bone, they are cartilage.

This little problem is usually more common in firstborn babies, breech babies, and twins. And while it’s very rare that it leads to more serious problems, if left untreated, hip clicking can cause a limp, bone injury, or leg asymmetry in a boy or girl.

The baby does not usually cry as having the head of the femur out (causing the hip click) does not hurt, so a good examination will be important.

There are some recommendations to treat this anomaly. It is recommended that during the first months, the baby is placed with the legs open, so the joint will mature more easily. The best ways to achieve this are:

  • Use double or triple diaper: It will help to separate the hips. By separating the legs, the hip is further distanced within the joint and thus dislocation is avoided.
  • Using backpacks or scarves to carry the baby: The position of the baby is perfect when it is transported with the legs hanging, since the hip is well positioned in the joint. Baby carriers must be ergonomic! And the use of tacatás is not recommended, since they worsen the prognosis.

In cases where congenital hip dysplasia occurs, the diaper will not do any good, so some type of harness is used. This is responsible for keeping the hip within the joint, leaving the baby’s legs separated continuously. Treatment can last for several weeks and even months.

To finish, you should know that you do not have to be alarmed if your little one suffers from clicking in the hip, since it does not indicate any serious problem. You will simply have to follow the current and usual examination controls by the pediatrician.