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Three-Year Prospective Study of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip at Birth: Should All Dislocated or Dislocatable Hips Be Treated?

Lorente Moltó, Francisco J. M.D.; Gregori, Antonio Mascarell M.D.; Casas, Luis Miranda M.D.; Perales, Vicente Martí M.D.


This article presents a 3-year prospective study that includes 103 consecutive patients (137 hips) diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) at birth. Treatment was started after 2 weeks only if the hips had not stabilized spontaneously. Sonographic studies were first used when clinical stability was confirmed to ensure a true concentric hip reduction. The authors conclude that most patients with DDH at birth (73.8%) do not need treatment at that time, presenting with normal hips at the end of follow-up. When instability was still present after 2 weeks and a splint was applied (26.2%), there were no significant hip differences when compared with a control group of 50 patients (69 hips) who underwent treatment in the first days of life. With this approach, the authors could safely reduce the number of patients to be treated, the amount of sonographic studies, and consequently the final cost of the whole treatment.

Study conducted at La Fe Hospital for Children, Valencia, Spain

From the Department of Pediatric Surgery, Section of Orthopedic Surgery, La Fe Hospital for Children, Valencia, Spain.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Francisco J. Lorente Moltó, Hospital Universitario Infantil La Fe, Ortopedia Infantil, Avda. de Campanar 21, 46009 Valencia, Spain (e-mail:

None of the authors has received financial support for this study.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.