Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

Storer, Stephen K.; Skaggs, David L.
October 2006
American Family Physician;10/15/2006, Vol. 74 Issue 8, p1310
Academic Journal
Developmental dysplasia of the hip refers to a continuum of abnormalities in the immature hip that can range from subtle dysplasia to dislocation. The identification of risk factors, including breech presentation and family history, should heighten a physician's suspicion of developmental dysplasia of the hip. Diagnosis is made by physical examination. Palpable hip instability, unequal leg lengths, and asymmetric thigh skinfolds may be present in newborns with a hip dislocation, whereas gait abnormalities and limited hip abduction are more common in older children. The role of ultrasonography is controversial, but it generally is used to confirm diagnosis and assess hip development once treatment is initiated. Bracing is first-line treatment in children younger than six months. Surgery is an option for children in whom nonoperative treatment has failed and in children diagnosed after six months of age. It is important to diagnose developmental dysplasia of the hip early to improve treatment results and to decrease the risk of complications.


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