Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

Journal of Pediatric Health Care Volume 22, Number 5, 2008 Polina Gelfer, MD, FAAP; Kathleen A. Kennedy, MD, MPH

Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a spectrum of anatomical abnormalities of the hip joint in which the femoral head has an abnormal relationship to the acetabulum. The true incidence of DDH can only be estimated because there is no «gold standard» for diagnosis. Most developed countries report an incidence of 1.5 to 20 cases of DDH per 1000 births, depending in part on the methods of screening used (Shipman, Helfand, Moyer, & Yawn, 2006). The incidence varies by race: it is increased in the Sami people and Native Americans and decreased in populations of African descent (Phillips, 2007). In its severest form, DDH is one of the most common congenital malformations and is an important cause of childhood disability. Although in most affected infants the problem resolves spontaneously in the first several months of life, persistent DDH may result in chronic pain, gait abnormalities, and degenerative arthritis (Dezateux & Rosendahl, 2007). In its severest form, DDH is one of the most common congenital malformations and is an important cause of childhood disability. This disorder underlies up to 9% of all primary hip replacements and up to 29% of those in people aged 60 years and younger (Dezateux & Rosendahl).

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