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    Congenital Hip Dislocation (Baby)

    Overview
    Causes
    Symptoms
    Risk Factors

    Prevention
    When To Seek Help
    Treatment Options
    Where To Seek Treatment

    Singapore General Hospital
    Contributed by Dept of Neonatal & Developmental Medicine

    Overview

    Congenital hip dislocation (CHD) is better known as developmental dysplasia of the hip. CHD is a condition where the head (‘ball’) of the femur (thigh bone) moves out of the socket of the pelvic bone, called the acetabulum. The head of the femur may lie within the acetabulum but can be moved partially (subluxable) or totally (dislocatable) out of it. It may even lie completely outside the acetabulum and behind the socket, in which case it is dislocated.


    Causes

    A child with CHD usually does not have any symptom at birth. CHD can be detected through newborn screening by a doctor. The doctor will perform certain hip manoeuvres to check if the femoral head moves in and out of the acetabulum. If CHD is suspected from clinical screening, your baby will need to undergo an ultrasound scan of the hips to confirm diagnosis. You may be given an appointment with your doctor and/or bone specialist (called an orthopaedic surgeon) for further treatment.


    Symptoms

    No symptom at birth. CHD can only be detected through newborn screening by a doctor.


    Risk Factors

    Several risk factors may predispose your baby to developing CHD. These include a breech position in the womb, especially if your baby had maintained the breech position with straight legs (called the extended breech position) due to limited mobility in the womb. Family history of CHD also increases your child’s risk of CHD.


    Prevention

    There are no proven natural or clinically approved methods for preventing CHD.


    When To Seek Help

    It is important to screen for CHD at birth. If undetected and untreated, CHD can lead to a difference in limb length and affect gait when the infant starts learning to walk from nine months old.


    Treatment Options

    Babies with CHD can often be treated with an abduction splint, a device that reduces the dislocation and keeps the femoral head within the socket while the baby is growing. In very few cases where the femoral head continues to dislocate out of the socket, surgery may be necessary to reduce the dislocation.

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