Developmental dislocation of the hip joint; Developmental hip dysplasia; DDH; Congenital dysplasia of the hip; Congenital dislocation of the hip; CDH
Definition of Developmental dysplasia of the hip
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a dislocation of the hip joint that is present at birth. The condition is found in babies or young children.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The hip is a ball and socket joint. The ball, called the femoral head, forms the top part of the thigh bone (femur) and the socket (acetabulum) forms in the pelvis.
There may be no symptoms. Symptoms that may occur can include:
Signs and tests
Pediatric health care providers routinely screen all newborns and infants for hip dysplasia. There are several methods to detect a dislocated hip or a hip that is able to be dislocated.
In early infancy, a non-surgical positioning device is used to keep the legs apart and turned outward (frog-leg position). This device will usually hold the hip joint in place while the child grows. If there is a problem in maintaining proper position, a cast may be placed on the child’s leg and changed as the child grows.
If hip dysplasia is identified in the first few months of life, it can almost always be treated successfully with a positioning device (bracing). In a few cases, surgery is necessary to put the hip back in joint.
Jennifer K. Mannheim, CPNP, private practice, Seattle, WA; Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/24/2009