What is an irritable hip?

Irritable hip (coxitis fugax) is a common condition involving symptoms such as temporary hip pain and limping that primarily affects children. This health tip provides more information about this condition.

Do you suddenly notice your child limping but don't know the reasons? And is he or she unable to forget about the pain even when playing? If so, you need to study the situation closely. After all, children are generally so absorbed when playing that they forget everything around them, including any pain they may have.



Irritable hip results from a hip joint effusion and generally occurs in children between the ages of four and ten. Some of them will have a slightly raised temperature, but no fever. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it is often preceded by a cold. Occasionally it follows a viral stomach or intestinal infection.

Affected children will experience pain in the hip or groin area that can radiate as far as to the knee. The condition generally affects only one side. Important: You can rule out a fall as the cause of the pain, as an irritable hip originates from an internal source in the form of fluid accumulating in the hip area.



The hip must not bear any strain – in the case of children, this means a ban on sports. Crutches may help to take pressure off the hips when walking, and very small children will need to stay in bed.

Doctors usually recommend pain medication and inflammation inhibitors, which will help to relieve the inflammation and reduce the fluids that have accumulated in the area. You can expect to see a clear improvement within a week. If this is not the case and the child has a fever of more than 38.5 degrees Celsius, be sure to ask your paediatrician for advice.

In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.