Purpose of review
Our understanding of the epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is evolving. This review focuses on the most up-to-date literature on DDH in patients from birth to six months of age.
Well known risk factors for DDH include family history, female sex, and breech positioning. Recent evidence suggests higher birth weight is a risk, whereas prematurity may be protective. Screening includes physical examination of all infant hips and imaging when abnormal findings or risk factors are present. Treatment in the first six months consists of a harness, with 70–95% success. Failure risk factors include femoral nerve palsy, static bracing, irreducible hips, initiation after seven weeks of age, right hip dislocation, Graf-IV hips, and male sex. Rigid bracing may be trialed if reduction with a harness fails and closed reduction is indicated after failed bracing. If the hip is still irreducible, nonconcentric, or unstable, open reduction may be required following closed reduction. Evidence does not support delaying hip reduction until the ossific nucleus is present.
DDH affects 1–7% of infants. All infants should be examined and selective screening with imaging should be performed for abnormal physical exams or risk factors. Early treatment is associated with optimal outcomes.