Developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH)

Developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH): The abnormal formation of the hip joint in which the ball at the top of the thighbone (the femoral head) is not stable within the socket (the acetabulum). The ligaments of the hip joint may also be loose and stretched.

The degree of instability or looseness varies. A baby born with this condition may have the ball of the hip loosely in the socket (subluxed) or the ball of the hip may be completely dislocated at birth.

Untreated, the condition may cause legs of different lengths and a “duck-like” walk and lead to pain on walking and early osteoarthritis. There is a familial tendency. It usually affects the left hip and is more common in girls than boys, in first-born children and in babies born in the breech position. It is more common in Native Americans than in whites and is rarely seen in African-American children.

One of the early signs that a baby has been born with a dislocated hip may be a clicking sound when the baby’s legs are moved apart. With a full dislocation, the leg “rides up” so it is shorter than its mate. The buttocks folds also may not be symmetrical with more creases on the dislocated side. When the child begins to walk, he or (more often) she may favor one side or limp, if the hip problem has not been diagnosed early and treated effectively.

The earlier the diagnosis is made, the better. The usual treatment is a device called the Pavlik harness, which has straps that allow the baby to move about freely while holding the hip in place and preventing movements that would make the condition worse. In most up to 97% of cases, the Pavlik harness is effective. If it is not, the hip may be positioned into place under anesthesia (closed reduction) and maintained with a body cast (a spica).

Developmental dislocation (or dysplasia) of the hip is also known as congenital hip dislocation.

Read Also:

  • Developmental disorder

    Developmental disorder: One of several disorders that interrupt normal development in childhood. They may affect a single area of development (specific developmental disorders) or several (pervasive developmental disorders). With early intervention, most specific developmental disorders can be accommodated and overcome. Early intervention is absolutely essential for pervasive developmental disorders, many of which will respond to […]

  • Developmental disorder, specific

    Developmental disorder, specific: A disorder that selectively affects one area of development, sparing essentially all other areas of development. For example, dysgraphia is one type of specific developmental disorder. In dysgraphia there is inability to write legibly. Problems in dysgraphia may include fine-motor muscle control of the hands and/or processing difficulties. Sometimes occupational therapy is […]

  • Developmental dyspraxia

    Developmental dyspraxia: A pattern of delayed, uneven, or aberrant development of physical abilities during childhood development. The physical abilities affected may be gross or fine motor skills. Developmental dyspraxia may be seen alone or in combination with other developmental problems, particularly apraxia or dyspraxia of speech. Treatment is via early intervention, using physical therapy to […]

  • Deviated septum

    Failure of the nasal septum to be in the center of the nose and divide the nasal passages evenly. Deviation of the nasal septum may be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (occur later). The major problem it causes is airway obstruction. A deviated septum can be corrected with surgery.

  • Airway obstruction

    Airway obstruction: Partial or complete blockage of the breathing passages to the lungs. Causes include the presence of foreign matter, allergic reactions, infections, anatomical abnormalities, and trauma. Associated respiratory distress may be sudden, with only a cough for a warning. There is often agitation in the early stages. Other signs include labored, ineffective breathing, until […]

Disclaimer: Developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH) definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.