Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation

What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip Dysplasia, commonly occurring in infants and young adults , describes the medical condition in which there is an abnormality in the hip joint. The malformation can occur in either the ball of the hip joint, the socket, or both. This failure of the hip joints to develop normally results in the gradual deterioration, leading to the loss of function of the hip joints.

It is easier for an infant’s hip to become misaligned or dislocated than an adult’s hip due to the softness of the bone and the composition of the hip socket is mostly soft, pliable cartilage. In the United States, approximately 1 to 2 babies per 1,000 are born with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip or DDH. Pediatricians screen for DDH at a newborn’s first examination and at every well-baby checkup thereafter.

Cause

  • DDH tends to run in families. It can be present in either hip and in any individual. It usually affects the left hip and is predominant in:
  • Girls
  • First-born children
  • Babies born in the breech position (especially with feet up by the shoulders). The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends ultrasound DDH screening of all female breech babies.
  • Family history of DDH (parents or siblings)
  • Oligohydraminos (low levels of amniotic fluid)
  • Infant positioning in the first years of life

Symptoms

Some babies born with a dislocated hip will show no outward signs. Contact your pediatrician if your baby has:

  • Legs of different lengths
  • Uneven skin folds on the thigh
  • Less mobility or flexibility on one side
  • Limping, toe walking, or a waddling, duck-like gait