Hip Dysplasia Compensation Claims

Welcome to our guide on making a hip dysplasia compensation claim. Hip dysplasia is when the ball and socket joint of the hip does not form correctly. It can happen in babies or as the child begins to grow. It can also be called congenital dislocation of the hip. It is vital that this condition is spotted at the earliest opportunity to prevent any further damage from being attributed to the joint.  

When we seek medical attention, either for ourselves or for someone we’re responsible for, we can expect to receive a minimum standard of treatment and care. However, if sometimes the care you receive was to fall below these standards, it could directly cause injury or the worsening of a condition. This breach of duty of care on the part of a medical professional can be referred to as medical negligence.

Hip Dysplasia Medical Negligence Claims

Hip dysplasia compensation

Hip dysplasia compensation

We’ll be exploring how you can make a medical negligence claim, whether against a private healthcare provider or the NHS. We will also look at the types of damages you could be awarded in compensation. In addition, we’ll guide you through building a valid claim with various types of evidence that will be required. 

We want to help you understand the options available to you when seeking expert legal advice. For instance, you may wish to seek legal representation but be concerned about incurring large legal fees. We will look at No Win No Fee agreements and how they could help you fund legal representation. 

To summarise, we will answer some questions that we’re often asked about claims of this kind. We will also provide you with some helpful resources that you may find useful.

If you have any questions whilst or after reading this guide, our team of advisors are available to take your queries. For more information, contact us on the following:

  • Telephone 0800 652 3087
  • Chat with us using the live chat at the bottom of this page
  • Send us an enquiry using the form 

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Hip Dysplasia Compensation Claim?
  2. What Is Hip Dysplasia?
  3. Signs And Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia
  4. Causes Of Hip Dysplasia
  5. Diagnosing And Treating Hip Dysplasia
  6. How Does This Condition Affect Babies?
  7. Is Congenital Dysplasia Preventable?
  8. How Common Is Hip Dysplasia?
  9. Time Limits To Claim For Hip Dysplasia
  10. Calculating Hip Dysplasia Compensation
  11. No Win No Fee Hip Dysplasia Compensation Claims
  12. Talk To An Expert
  13. Medical And Claims Resources
  14. FAQs About Hip Dysplasia

What Is A Hip Dysplasia Compensation Claim?

As we have already touched upon, medical negligence occurs when the level of care provided by a healthcare professional falls below the expected standard of the profession. As a result, the person receiving the substandard care may suffer injury or a worsening of their condition as a direct result of the poor care they received. 

More specifically to hip dysplasia negligence, your child may have suffered a worsening of their condition as a result of a doctor failing to diagnose the condition early enough when the signs were obvious. This may have been due to the doctor failing to send your child for the necessary tests. A late diagnosis could cause the condition to progress due to a lack of treatment. 

Alternatively, the doctor may have diagnosed the condition by following the correct procedure but were negligent in the treatment they provided. For instance, they may have failed to assess the severity of the condition correctly and prescribed the wrong treatment.

 However, just because your child’s condition has worsened after medical treatment does not mean that the doctor has acted negligently. Complications can arise even when a doctor is providing treatment. A medical professional or physician can act within the levels of their professional adhering to proven practised procedures but fail to diagnose a condition. In these instances, it is less likely medical negligence has occurred.

If you would like to know more about the duty of care owed by healthcare providers, please give our team a call. Otherwise, read on for more information on hip dysplasia claims.  

What Is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia affects the hip joint where the femur is positioned in the pelvis. It is a condition that stops this joint from forming as it should. It commonly affects babies and young children. Around 2 in 1,000 children have hip dysplasia that requires treatment.  

Hip dysplasia might also be called developmental dysplasia of the hip. It means that the socket part of the hip joint is too shallow, meaning that the head of the femur is not secure. In some severe cases, the femur might dislocate meaning that it comes out of the socket. 

Hip dysplasia should be treated as early as possible to prevent further complications from arising. Without timely treatment, it could result in the child developing problems later in life which may even be permanent.

Signs And Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia

There are various symptoms that may provide a sign that a child has hip dysplasia. For instance:

  • Legs are unequal in length
  • When they crawl, one leg may drag behind them 
  • When walking, they may have a limp 
  • During a nappy change, you may not be able to move one leg as far out to the side as the other or both legs may be restricted

Hip dysplasia can happen in one hip or both. However, it’s more common in the left hip. It can also affect children of all demographics but is more common in girls and firstborns. 

Causes Of Hip Dysplasia

There are a number of things that might cause a baby to develop hip dysplasia. These include:  

  • Being born “breech”, meaning that their feet or bottom are facing downwards during delivery.
  • Having less room in the womb, which puts pressure on the hip.
  • Genetics; your baby may be more at risk of hip dysplasia if there is a history of childhood hip problems in your family. 

If hip dysplasia is diagnosed and treated early, there is less of a chance that the child will require surgery. 

Diagnosing And Treating Hip Dysplasia

The diagnosis and treatment of hip dysplasia may vary depending on the severity of the condition. We have taken a more detailed look at the process of treating and diagnosing this condition below. 


All babies are given a physical screening examination which is carried out within 72 hours of being born. It involves a doctor checking your baby’s hip joints by moving them around gently. 

If the examination gives the nurse or doctor any cause for concern, such as the hip joints feeling unstable, they may refer your baby for an ultrasound scan to be done while they’re 4-6 weeks old. 

Additionally, there are other reasons an ultrasound scan may be arranged. For instance, if they have any of the risk factors of hip dysplasia that we have mentioned above, then a scan will be arranged even if there is no noticeable problem at their newborn examination. 

Furthermore, in the event of twins or multiple births, only one of the babies may carry the risk factors for hip dysplasia. Nevertheless, the babies may be subject to an ultrasound between 4-6 weeks of age.


The treatment for hip dysplasia may vary depending on when the condition is diagnosed and how severe it seems. For instance:

  • A Pavlik harness is a fabric splint that secures both hips in a stable position to allow them to develop normally. The splint is usually kept on for a few weeks.
  • Reduction surgery may be required if your baby has a late diagnosis, usually after 6 months, or if the harness has been ineffective. This consists of putting the femoral head back into the socket of the hip.

Reduction surgery can be done as either: 

  • Closed reduction will avoid the surgeon making large cuts
  • Open reduction where a cut will be made to help get the femoral head back into the correct position

The recovery time will vary but a cast may need to be worn for around 12 weeks. Further checks may be carried out after 6 weeks to ensure the hip is stable and healing correctly. 

If your baby’s condition was missed or misdiagnosed because the care they received was not of an acceptable standard, or if they were caused further harm during treatment because of a breach of duty of care, you may be able to claim compensation on their behalf. Get in touch with our team today for more information. 

How Does This Condition Affect Babies?

DHD can be a debilitating condition and if left untreated or undiagnosed could result in permanent ongoing issues that carry on into adulthood. This might include:

  • Mobility problems such as a limp 
  • Ongoing pain
  • Osteoarthritis in the hip and back
  • Early development of arthritis in the hip and back

Additionally, if your child receives a late diagnosis due to the failure to carry out the proper checks, they may require surgery which could have otherwise been avoided. 

The issues that hip dysplasia may cause could result in your child needing mobility aids or further treatment later on in life. These might include:

  • Walking aids such as a walking stick or wheelchair in severe cases
  • Physiotherapy 

Is Congenital Dysplasia Preventable?

Unfortunately, hip dysplasia isn’t preventable. However, an early diagnosis can prevent the condition from developing into severe cases where surgery is required. Additionally, there may be other things you can avoid that could impact your baby’s hip development. 

For instance, keeping your baby swaddled tightly for long periods of time, meaning their legs are straight and pressed together, could affect their hips developing healthily and naturally. Hip-healthy swaddling techniques involve ensuring that your baby can freely move their hips and knees and are able to kick. 

How Common Is Hip Dysplasia?

According to the NHS, around 1 or 2 in 1,000 babies have hip dysplasia that requires treatment. 

The graph below compiles figures from a study involving around 15 million patients. It examined the medical records of all children diagnosed with hip dysplasia between the ages of 1-8 years old from 1st January 1990 to 1st January 2016.

hip dysplasia statistics

The figures from the graph were taken from this source. It highlighted that the interventions put in place to prevent a late diagnosis may not have been successful as hoped. The figures show that the rate of late diagnosis hasn’t drastically changed since the interventions were introduced. 

Time Limits To Claim For Hip Dysplasia

The general time limit for starting a claim for medical negligence is generally three years.  This is either from the date the incident happened or the date you knew (or should have known) that the injuries were a result of negligence. However, there are some exceptions to this.  

For a child under the age of 18, the time limit is suspended until they turn 18. During this time a parent, guardian or solicitor may be able to claim on their behalf by acting as a litigation friendIf no claim is made by the time they come of age, they’ll have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to start the claim for themselves. 

Additionally, for anyone who lacks the mental capacity to claim for themselves, the three-year time limit is frozen and a claim can be made on their behalf by a parent, guardian or solicitor acting as a litigation friend. 

If they regain their mental capacity, they’ll have three years from the date of their recovery to start a claim. Otherwise, the three years are frozen indefinitely. 

We understand the exceptions may seem complicated, so for that reason, we have created a table to give you a clear understanding of the time limits that apply when claiming for yourself or your child. 

Medical Negligence Claims: General Time Limit
Three years from the date the person suffered in the incident or the date the person obtained knowledge that the incident either caused or contributed to their injuries
Person who was injured or suffered further harmTime limit Exceptions to the time limit
A child under the age of 183 years from the date of their 18th birthday to claim for themselves3 years is frozen until they turn 18 and during the time it's frozen someone could claim as a litigation friend on their behalf
Someone who lacks the mental capacity but may regain it3 years from the recovery date to claim for themselves3 years is frozen until they regain their mental capacity and during that time someone could claim as a litigation friend
Someone who lacks the mental capacity but won't regain it3 years is frozen indefinitely and someone can act as a litigation friend to claim on their behalf

However, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. One of our advisors will be happy to answer any questions you have. 

Calculating Hip Dysplasia Compensation

There are various types of damages you may be able to claim compensation for. For instance, general damages cover the physical and psychological suffering directly caused by your injury. They look at how the injury has impacted your quality of life and any long term effects it may have caused you. 

You may also be able to claim special damages as part of your compensation. These cover any past and future financial losses you may incur as a direct result of the injuries or harm caused. 

If you’re claiming on behalf of a child with hip dysplasia whose condition was made worse by medical negligence, you may be able to claim for things like: 

  • Physiotherapy 
  • Travel expenses, e.g. taxis to and from hospital/ doctor appointments 
  • Walking aids, e.g. walking sticks and wheelchairs

In order to claim these under special damages, you will need to provide evidence. This might be in the form of invoices or receipts to show what you have spent.

It is important to note that when calculating damages for a medical negligence claim, you will only be able to claim for things that were directly caused by the substandard care received. For instance, the claim would not be for the hip condition but for how much worse it got because of medical negligence.

How do I prove medical negligence for compensation?

For medical negligence claims, the Bolam test may be carried out to determine whether a breach of duty of care has occurred. This test involves a panel of medical professionals who specialise in the same field stating whether they would have taken the same course of action as the doctor in question, or whether they would have acted differently.

If they confirm that they would have taken the same course of action, then the medical professional will be considered to have upheld the standards of their profession. This is the case even if their actions caused the patient harm. If they confirm the treatment provided was below the expected standard the medical professional may be considered negligent.

Your child will also usually be invited to an additional medical assessment. This will provide a further report on the state of their injuries and help to ascertain how much of their negative effects were caused by the negligent care they received as opposed to their condition as a whole. 

How much could I claim?

The amount of compensation you may be entitled to may vary depending on the severity of the harm inflicted. For that reason, we’ve created a compensation table to provide an idea of how much your claim may be worth

The table lists different severities of hip injuries and symptoms that may be similar to cases of hip dysplasia. We have used figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) which may be used by legal professionals to value claims. This is a publication that provides guideline compensation amounts for a range of injuries of varying severities.  

HipSevere: (iii) Injuries may include a fracture of the femur or hip which requires a hip replacement but other injuries may fall under this bracket as well £36,770 to £49,270
HipModerate: (i) This might involve a significant hip or pelvis injury without a great risk of a major permanent disability £24,950 to £36,770
HipModerate: (ii) Injuries that may need a hip replacement or other hip surgery. The award will depend on the success of the surgery and whether future surgeries are required. £11,820 to £24,950
HipLesser injuries: (i) This may include cases where there is a low chance of disability in the future even if the injury is significant and recovery may be made fully within two years.£3,710 to £11,820
HipLesser injuries: (ii) The award will be given to soft tissue injuries that involved a full recovery.Up to £3,710

However, it’s important to note that the compensation figures should only be used as a guide as the actual settlement figure you may receive may vary. 

Furthermore, the table only provides figures for general damages. Any special damages you claim will be worked out separately.

For more information on how to calculate your compensation, contact our team on the number above. Once we have more information on your circumstances, we will be in a better position to accurately value your claim. 

No Win No Fee Hip Dysplasia Compensation Claims

An experienced medical negligence solicitor may offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. 

This means that if your solicitor is unsuccessful with your claim, you won’t pay solicitor fees. If they do win, you’ll pay a small fee. However, this can be agreed on with your solicitor before putting forward your claim. 

Additionally, entering into a No Win No Fee agreement means you can access the expert advice of a solicitor experienced in handling claims similar to your own without paying upfront costs. Furthermore, you won’t incur any costs while your claim is ongoing. 

If this is something you’d like to discuss further, see below for how you can get in touch with our team to get started with your claim today.

Talk To An Expert

We hope that you have found our guide on hip dysplasia claims and medical negligence useful. As well as offering further guidance, our advisors can assess whether you have a valid claim and if you do, they can connect you with a solicitor who can offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis.  

For more information, contact us either by:

  • Calling on 0800 652 3087
  • Chatting with us on live chat at the bottom-right of this screen 
  • Sending us your enquiry through our online form  

Medical And Claims Resources

Below, you can find links to all of our medical negligence claims guides:

Visit the General Medical Council for further details on the standard of care you’re owed as a patient.

The NHS Resolution handles claims made against the NHS.

Visit the government website to understand the complaints procedure against the NHS.

FAQs About Hip Dysplasia

Please see below for answers to some commonly asked questions regarding hip dysplasia.

Is hip dysplasia a birth injury?

Hip dysplasia may be caused by your baby being in the breech position at a certain point in pregnancy or during childbirth. 

What is the prognosis for hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia can be treated but the treatment may vary depending on the severity. It’s important to get an early diagnosis to avoid worsening symptoms.

Does hip dysplasia get worse over time?

If left untreated, hip dysplasia may increase the risk of developing other conditions such as arthritis and mobility issues. 

We hope you found our guide on making a hip dysplasia compensation claim useful. Thank you for reading. 

Guide by Megan

Edited by Fern/LisM.