The outcome of one-stage bilateral open reduction through a medial approach for the treatment of developmental dysplasia of the hip in children under 18 months was studied in 23 children, 18 girls and five boys. Their mean age at operation was 10.1 months (6 to 17) and the mean follow-up was 5.4 years (3 to 8). Acceptable clinical and radiological results were achieved in 44 (95.7%) and 43 (93.5%) of 46 hips, respectively. Excellent results were significantly evident in patients younger than 12 months, those who did not require acetabuloplasty, those whose ossific nucleus had appeared, and in those who did not develop avascular necrosis. One-stage bilateral medial open reduction avoids the need for separate procedures on the hips and has the advantages of accelerated management and shorter immobilisation and rehabilitation than staged operations.