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Developmental Hip Dysplasia Guide



The Hip is a “ball and socket” joint. Normally the top of the Thigh Bone (Femur) has a round ball shape which fits into a cup-like socket on the Pelvis (Acetabulum). There are a range of developmental hip conditions which can affect babies/children.The terms Congenital Dislocated Hip (CDH) and Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) describes a variety of conditions in which the ball and socket of the Hip do not develop properly. The term “Congenital” Dislocation of the Hip (CDH) has been progressively replaced with “Developmental” Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH).


The term “Congenital”implies that a condition existed at birth,however Hip Dysplasia can in fact be a “Developmental” problem. In the mildest form of DDH the ligaments are lax and the joint is unstable. This is quite common. Most of these babies will develop normal Hips after 12 weeks, but it is difficult for the Doctor to know which Hips will develop normally so they will need to be closely monitored. In more severe Hip problems the Femoral Head may be dislocated. These children and those whose Hips remain unstable will require treatment. In DDH the socket is shallow and the Femoral Head may be small.If the socket remains shallow, the joint may become dislocated or subluxed as the child grows

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