Young Adult Hip Service

The young adult hip service at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University is a unique, comprehensive hip program for patients age 18 to 55. Washington University orthopedic specialists offer expert diagnosis and innovative treatments that get younger patients back to a healthy, active lifestyle.

The goals of the young adult hip service are to:

  • Accurately diagnose hip disorders
  • Present all available treatment options, including nonsurgical and surgical hip procedures
  • Provide the highest level of care to patients with hip conditions
  • Improve patients’ overall health and activity levels by repairing hip problems and reducing pain

Understanding Hip Disorders

Historically, hip problems were associated with middle age and elderly patients, but nearly 90 percent of patients who have a hip replacement later in life actually have a hip disorder or deformity that has affected them for years. Hip problems in younger people frequently lead to discomfort, limited activity and eventual osteoarthritis. If hip disease is diagnosed and treated when a patient is younger, the natural hip joint can often be preserved and a hip replacement may be avoided or delayed.

Hip disorders in young adults include:

  • Congenital hip dysplasia (abnormal formation of the hip socket)
  • Developmental hip dysplasia, Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease
  • Acetabular labral tears
  • Femoroacetabular impingement problems
  • Post-traumatic joint disease
  • Pre-arthritic joint problems
  • Early arthritic disorders
  • Moderate to advanced arthritis
In younger patients, an underlying hip deformity or joint problem (labral tear, early arthritis, femoroacetabular impingement) can cause specific symptoms or discomfort. If symptoms last three to four months, the patient may have a hip joint problem that needs specialized care as provided through the young adult hip service.

Flip through our patient JOURNEY guide below to read about what will happen before, during, and after surgery.

Or, download the pdf guide here.

Our Physicians

Learn more about the hip disease in young adults:

Denis Nam, MD

Dr. Nam is a Washington University orthopedic surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital who focuses his practice on joint replacement (hip and knee) surgery in adults.


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