Irritable hip is a common disorder of childhood which presents with the acute onset of hip pain and a limp that gradually resolves. The child is otherwise well.
The cause is uncertain and the condition is usually made as a diagnosis of exclusion. Infection and trauma are postulated as precipitating factors but prospective studies report infection, usually of the upper respiratory tract, in only 30% of cases, and significant trauma in only 5% of cases.
Boys between two and twelve years of age appear to be the most susceptible group.