If you are a young adult experiencing hip pain or discomfort, the cause might be one of several conditions. Hip problems are often associated with the elderly, but they can strike at almost any age. Young adults are vulnerable to a variety of hip disorders that can range in severity from merely annoying to debilitating. This article takes a look some of the more serious hip ailments that young adults need to be aware of.

Hip Dysplasia

The term "hip dyplasia" is sometimes associated with dogs, but the condition occurs in humans as well. The disorder is characterized by a joint where the socket of the hip is too shallow to fully accept the ball, or head, of the femur. The resulting symptoms may include pain in the joint that becomes worse when you exercise or run. You may also hear an intermittent popping sound coming from the hip. The most common treatment for this disorder is orthopedic surgery.

Hip Impingement

This condition typically occurs when a deformity interferes with the proper function of the hip joint. For instance, if your femur head is misshapen, it may cause problems with normal movement in the joint. Certain diseases, such as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, can cause this disorder as well. Because hip impingement does not always have noticeable symptoms in it's early stages, it's possible to have the condition as a child, but not realize until you are older. Depending on whether the disorder responds to less invasive treatments, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery to correct the problem.

Labral Tear

The ring of cartilage that surrounds your hip is known as the labrum. This tissue can tear in some cases, which may cause discomfort and stiffness in the joint. A hip labral tear is more likely to occur in young adults who participate in sports such as hockey, soccer and football, although ballet dancers are also at risk for this problem. One important risk from a labral tear is that is might make you more susceptible to arthritis in your hip. Orthopedic surgery might be needed for a hip labral tear if rest and physical therapy cannot resolve the issue.

Hip pain should never be ignored whether you are middle-aged, a senior citizen or a young adult. If are experiencing hip discomfort, consult with your family physician. If an examination determines that surgery is needed, your doctor will refer you to a qualified orthopedic surgeon.