February 16, 2009,
E.B. asks from Portland, OR on February 13, 2009
4 Year Old "Popping Hip"
My 4 year old will just be sitting, walking, laying, etc. When he all of a sudden goes "ahhhh" He then spreads his legs apart past shoulder width and squats. He wiggles. Then he says. "that's better" When you ask him what he is doing he says the he needed to pop his leg, It hurt. He does it at east a dozen times a day. If you don't let him do it he freaks out. He crys. Could it be hip issues? Should I take him to see the ped? It makes me wonder because you pick up my 21 month old, she barley arches her back and you can feel the cracking all the way up her spine. I have really "lose" joints. Could it be that? Coud this cause joint issue in the future for them? arthritis?
Any insight would be great.
Thanks in advance
J.S. answers from Yakima on February 14, 2009
E. most deaffenetly take im to the doctor he may just be duble jointed but it could be some thing els & you need to know now befor it gets any worse.
S.A. answers from Eugene on February 14, 2009
E., I'm a physical therapist and recommend that you tell your pediatrician about this. Your son's hips were probably checked for congenital hip problems (things that show up at birth) when he was an infant, but it doesn't hurt to check. This certanily isn't an emergency unless he continuously complains of his hip being painful, but it's worth checking into. Good Luck:)
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S.C. answers from Portland on February 14, 2009
Hi E.. I have a son that "pops" ... It sounds like it must hurt, but he says it makes him feel better. The chiropractor said when strecthing and movement "pop" joints, it's a healthy form of self adjusting. It's just air being expelled from the joints. The habit of forcing it concerns me though. There is a difference between popping and cracking or gritching though, where joints are rubbing bone-on-bone or there's been an injury and the snap comes from an impingment. That's not something a child would do intentionally because it often hurts.
If you are really concerned the BEST doctor to take your son to is an Orthopedic Surgeon, one that focuses on children would be prime. I had a second son that had a congenital hip deformity and though it did not pop per se, it did cause him discomfort. He really needed some specialized care. Peds don't always pick up on these kinds of problems and can easily brush them off (my son's doctor did). Thank goodness we had a friend who was an orthopedic dr who told me to have it checked further. I did and after some pretty extensive care he's fine (playing basketball and baseball).
Even if there isn't a "problem" with your son's hip, it will give you peace of mind to have him checked by a competent chiropractor (ask around to find a good one that works with kids and/or athletes), and have an orthopedic surgeon examine him. Hopefully you have insurance--it makes it easier to go, and if there is anything that needs attending, you can get the best care you can find.
Hope this helps.
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Z.A. answers from Seattle on February 16, 2009
The femur/pelvis joint is SUPPOSED to be the strongest one in the body. So much so, that most people actually break their hip before the femur dislocates from the hip.
That said, years of gymnastics and stretching those tendons/ligaments on purpose, means that BOTH of my legs will actually dislocate with very little provocation, and my right one is notorious for coming HALF out of joint. Ugh. Pain in the keister. It's aggravating & painful & slightly nauseating, until it pops back in, and then it's *almost* better then sex. Ahhhhhhhhhh. To feel human again.
While it may be nothing (ie just a quirky stretch), I would take your love to the doc to have them check out the joint/tendons/ligaments. Because what your son is doing sounds like what I have to do. Flexibility is great. Dislocation (even partial) is NOT. That joint is typically so strong though, that most medical professionals deem partial dislocation impossible...until they see a demonstration. At your son's age, there are definitely a ton of things that can be done to strengthen that connection, if that indeed is what's going on.
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K.M. answers from Richland on February 14, 2009
Please take them to the DR, especially with the hip issue.
J.M. answers from Portland on February 15, 2009
It can't hurt to have a doctor check this out just to make sure it is not something major.
I have had the same issue for as long as I can remember. It is painful when it happens, so I am glad he knows how to relieve it. I have always just attributed it to the fact that I am double-jointed, so are my siblings, and they have the same thing happen.
I don't know if this helps at all but at least you can know he is not the only one.
J.C. answers from Anchorage on February 14, 2009
My 3 year old son has juvenile RA. We had to go to an auto-immune specialist. His joints would hurt so bad he could not walk, and he also has a lot of inflammation behind his eyes. Also linked are his cradle cap and eczema.
W.C. answers from Seattle on February 14, 2009
Try a chiropractor. My chiropractor does wonders for me. He also does children as young as newborns. If you live near Kent-Covington try Family Chiropractor and Dr. John Wood. Good luck.
L.R. answers from Portland on February 14, 2009
My mom's knees almost always pop when she kneels down, and mine often do too (not as often, but they still do sometimes). Sometimes if they don't pop it hurts. When I get pregnant, because I have scoliosis, my right hip has issues, and often during the pregnancy and for some time afterwards I have to put my right ankle above my left knee and push down on my right knee to pop my right hip. Sometimes it hurts to walk if I don't do this.
With this in mind, I would agree with the others: check with your ped, and also you might want to check with a chiropractor. If there is an issue with bones, the chiropractor could probably do more than the pediatrician, though you will probably need the doctor's referral to get insurance to cover the chiropractic work.