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Toxic Synovitis of the Hip in Children


Toxic synovitis of the hip is swelling of your child's hip joint. The hip joint is where your child's hip bone and leg bone meet. Toxic synovitis of the hip can occur at any age, but is most common in children 3 to 10 years old. It may also be called transient synovitis of the hip. Your child may have sudden pain in the hip, upper leg, or knee. The pain causes your child to limp when he walks. Toxic synovitis may go away on its own within 1 to 3 weeks.

Normal Hip Joint



Rest and limited leg movement may help your child improve more quickly. He may also be told to keep weight off his leg until his pain decreases.


Your child may need the following:

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If your child takes blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for him or her. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Pain medicine: Your child may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you give your child his medicine.
  • Acetaminophen: This medicine is available without a doctor's order. It may decrease your child's pain and fever. Ask how much medicine your child needs and how often to give it.
  • Do not give aspirin to children younger than 18 years of age: Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin when he is sick. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider within 2 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • You think the medicine is not helping your child.
  • Your child's symptoms, such as pain and limping, do not improve within 3 weeks on their own, or within 2 days with medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child's symptoms get worse or do not go away.
  • Your child cannot put any weight on his leg.
  • Your child's fever is higher than 100ºF.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Toxic Synovitis of the Hip in Children (Aftercare Instructions)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.