Early diagnosis and treatment of DDH: A sonographic approach

Maurizio De Pellegrin, D. Moharamzadeh, G. Fraschini

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This study reviews the data regarding clinical and ultrasound (US) examinations, collected during an 11-year period, in a DDH dedicated outpatient clinic. The material was analysed in order to verify the importance of US hip examination and Ortolani's test for early DDH diagnosis, to select dysplastic, unstable hips, to identify the role of the labrum in DDH, and to analyse the treatment strategy. Of the 21709 newborns (43418 hips) examined with US and Ortolani's manoeuvre for DDH diagnosis, 431 patients (356 F; 75 M; average age 42 ± 33 days) had 574 unstable, dysplastic hips (1.32%). The hips identified according to Graf's classification were: 298 type D, 252 type IIIa, 4 type IIIb, 20 type IV. In 73.09% of the patients, no risk factors were identified; 18.56% had positive family history for DDH, 5.57% had breech presentation, 2.78% had both risk factors. Only 10.63% had a positive Ortolani's test. The diagnosis was made in 21.5% of cases by the 2nd week of life, in 52.9% between the 2nd-8th week, and in 25.5% after the 8th week. Unstable dislocated hips were treated, after reduction with or without sedation, by applying a cast; dysplastic hips were treated using a Gekeler splint. No open reductions or reconstruction surgery were needed. The labrum was always positioned on top of the femoral head, never inverted, and it was not an obstacle to closed reduction. Neither the Ortolani's sign, nor the risk factors are sure signs for the early diagnosis of DDH and its instability. Only US examination permits an early diagnosis of dysplasia and instability of the hip.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHIP International
Issue numberSUPPL. 5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • DDH
  • Developmental dysplasia hip
  • Early diagnosis
  • Newborns
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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