Congenital dislocation of the hip

West J Med. 1976 Jan;124(1):18-28.


Congenital dislocation or subluxation of the hip (congenital acetabular dysplasia) is a complete or partial displacement of the femoral head out of the acetabulum. The physical signs essential for diagnosis are age related. In newborns the tests for instability are the most sensitive. After the neonatal period, and until the age of walking, tightness of the adductor muscles is the most reliable sign. Early diagnosis is vital for successful treatment of this partially genetically determined condition. Various therapeutic measures, ranging from abduction splinting to open reduction and osteotomy, may be required. Following diagnosis in the first month of life, the average treatment time in one recent series was only 2.3 months from initiation of therapy to attainment of a normal hip. When the diagnosis was not made until 3 to 6 months of age, ten months of treatment was required to achieve the same outcome. When the diagnosis is not made, or the treatment is not begun until after the age of 6, a normal hip will probably not develop in any patient.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child, Preschool
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Hip Dislocation, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Hip Dislocation, Congenital / etiology
  • Hip Dislocation, Congenital / genetics
  • Hip Dislocation, Congenital / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography / methods