Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip - Exams and Tests
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is usually diagnosed by a
physical exam. A
medical history and other tests also may be useful in
All babies are examined for DDH at birth.
Newborns who have
risk factors for DDH, such as having foot, knee, or leg deformities, are
examined very closely for the condition.
Your child's hips are
also examined during regular
well-child checkups. But a baby with DDH who is older
than 1 to 3 months may have fewer visible signs, making it more difficult to
detect. These babies may have only slightly less mobility or flexibility of the
affected hip joint(s).
orthopedic surgeon or a pediatric orthopedist usually
confirms a diagnosis of and provides treatment for DDH. Your doctor will refer
you to one of these specialists if he or she suspects your child has DDH.
Tests that show
images of the hip joint are often done to help diagnose DDH if results from
physical exams are unclear. These tests are also used to monitor treatments for
Imaging tests used to diagnose and monitor DDH
- Ultrasound of
the hip. This test provides the clearest images in babies younger than 5 months
when the hip joints are still made of
cartilage. Ultrasound can provide images to help a
doctor see the subtle signs of DDH that often aren't detected during a physical
X-rays. These tests are most useful after a child is 4
to 6 months old. Before this age, a baby's bones are too soft to show up well
on an X-ray.
- CT scans. These tests are mostly used
to help doctors monitor treatment for DDH.