Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip - Symptoms
The signs of
developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) vary
depending on whether one or both hips are affected.
does not cause pain. A newborn or infant with DDH may have:
- No obvious signs of a defect.
folds of skin on the inside of the thigh(s). But a newborn without this
condition also may have these extra folds.
- Less mobility or
flexibility in the movement of the hip joint(s).
- One leg that seems
shorter than the other.
- Other physical deformities, especially of
In rare cases, DDH develops in the first few weeks or
months after birth and signs may not be seen until your child starts to walk.
Then your child may:
- Stand with one hip raised higher than the other
because of a shorter leg on the affected
side. It seems shorter if the upper end of the thighbone has slipped up above
its normal position in the hip socket.
- Walk on the toes of one foot
with the heel up off the floor, attempting to make up for the difference in leg
- Walk with a limp (or a waddling gait if both hips are
- Stand with a greater-than-normal inward curve (lordosis) of the lower back if both hips
Children with untreated DDH may develop lasting
deformities in their hips. Untreated DDH can also lead to hip joint
degeneration, which is a sort of early "wearing out" of the socket. When the
degeneration occurs in the
cartilage that protects and cushions joints, it is
osteoarthritis. Eventually the bones, which had been
separated by the cartilage, rub against each other. This rubbing damages tissue
and bone, and it causes pain.