In early infancy, a non-surgical positioning device is used to keep the legs apart and turned outward (frog-leg position). This device will usually hold the hip joint in place while the child grows. If there is a problem in maintaining proper position, a cast may be placed on the child’s leg and changed as the child grows.
Surgery may be necessary if early measures to put the joint back in place are unsuccessful or if the problem is first detected in an older child.
If hip dysplasia is identified in the first few months of life, it can almost always be treated successfully with a positioning device (bracing). In a few cases, surgery is necessary to put the hip back in joint.
Hip dysplasia identified after early infancy may be associated with a worse outcome and may require more complex surgery to repair the problem.
Bracing devices may cause skin irritation. Differences in the lengths of the legs may persist despite appropriate treatment.
Untreated, hip dysplasia will lead to arthritis and deterioration of the hip, which can be severely debilitating.
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call your health care provider if you suspect that your child’s hip is not properly positioned.
Developmental dysplasia of the hip : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Developmental dysplasia of the hip : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests
Developmental dysplasia of the hip : Treatment
Review Date : 3/24/2009
Reviewed By : Jennifer K. Mannheim, CPNP, private practice, Seattle, WA; Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.