Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a deformity of the hip that can occur before, during, or weeks after birth. At periodic checkups, a doctor will examine your baby's hips to rule out DDH, which can cause hip dislocation and/or an abnormal walk. It's important to recognize DDH early, so a child can receive timely treatment and avoid orthopedic problems later in life.
On Thursday, November 10, 2011 watch as orthopedic surgeons Mark Adamczyk and Kenneth Bono, at Akron Children's Hospital, perform an open reduction procedure on an 18-month-old female. In an open reduction the hip is realigned and the thighbone is placed back into the hip socket through surgery. During the procedure, tight muscles and tissues surrounding the hip joint are loosened and then later tightened up once the hip is back in place.
Hip dislocations are relatively uncommon, affecting just 1 in 1,000 live births. However, some degree of instability of the hip is seen in as many as 1 in 3 newborns. Girls are more likely to develop dislocations of the hip.
In mild cases of DDH, the femoral head moves back and forth within the socket, causing a child to have an unstable hip. In more serious cases, the head becomes dislocated, moving completely out of the socket, but sometimes can be put back in with pressure. In the most severe cases, the femoral head may not even reach the socket where it should be held in place.
DDH can't be prevented, but if it's recognized early and treated appropriately, most children will develop normally and have no related problems. DDH does not cause pain initially, but if left untreated it can result in significant impairment of function. Kids with untreated DDH will have legs of uneven lengths in adulthood, which can lead to a limp or waddling gait, back and hip pain, and overall decreased agility.