The physical signs of congenital subluxation (dysplasia) and congenital dislocation of the hip and the routine examination of the hips in all newborn infants make it possible to recognize these common problems at a very early age. In the dysplastic hip in a young infant, the treatment required is very simple, consisting merely in holding the extremities in a position of abduction until the hip has developed satisfactorily.
Demonstrable telescoping is the only accurate sign distinguishing congenital dislocation of the hip from subluxation. In true dislocation, manual reduction of the dislocation is usually required. In the very young infant, the position of stability is usually one of flexion, abduction, and external rotation, since the position of flexion represents the normal one of rest. Beyond the age of eight to ten months, however, the normal resting position changes to one of extension, and the position of stability for the hip is usually one of extension, abduction, and internal rotation. Beyond the age of eight to ten months the treatment required is much more radical, and there is less assurance of obtaining a totally satisfactory result.
Copyright 1965 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated