Hip Pain in Children


Signs and Symptoms

Pain in the hip can arise from many sites and pathologies. Hip problems can present with a limp.

  • Hip pathology can cause pain in the groin, thigh or knee (referred pain) - so check hernia sites and in boys, testes
  • Pain in the hip can be referred from the back
  • Do not ignore a limp.

Red Flags

  • Pain in the hip of a pyrexic child requires urgent admission to the emergency department
  • Sudden onset and severe pain, d/w on call team


Referral Criteria

Urgent Referral

  • Pain in the hip of child resulting in a limp requires referral to orthopaedics. Please mark as urgent.

Routine referral

  • Pain in the hip without a limp requires a referral to orthopaedics.
    • State duration of symptoms.

No investigations required prior to referral

Referral Instructions

e-Referral Service Selection

  • Specialty: Children's and Adolescent Services
  • Clinic Type: Orthopaedics
  • Service: DRSS-Western-Child&Adolescent -Devon CCG-15N

Referral Forms

DRSS Referral form

Supporting Information

Pathway Group

This guideline has been signed off by the Western Locality on behalf of NEW Devon CCG.

Publication date: May 2017


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