Congenital hip dislocation


X-Ray showing calculations for working out hip dysplasia

X-Ray Image showing Hip Dysplasia in an Infant

Asymmetrical gluteal folds and an apparent limb-length inequality can further indicate unilateral hip dysplasia. Most vexingly, many newborn hips show a certain ligamentous laxity, on the other hand severely malformed joints can appear stable. That is one reason why follow-up exams and developmental monitoring are important. Routine ultrasound screening has been discussed and rejected mainly because the small benefit would not justify the costs.
The Harris hip score (developed by William H. Harris MD, an orthopedist from Massachusetts) is one way to evaluate hip function following surgery. Other scoring methods are based on patients' evaluation like e.g. the Oxford hip score, HOOS and WOMAC score. Children's Hospital Oakland Hip Evaluation Scale (CHOHES) is a modification of the Harris hip score that is currently being evaluated.

Given the very real possibility of a limp, constant and/or debilitating pain, complicated treatment and impaired mobility later in life, careful developmental monitoring and early intervention are indicated.

Harnesses, casts, and traction
Early hip dysplasia can often be treated using a Pavlik harness (see photograph) or the Frejka pillow/splint in the first year of life with usually normal results. Cases of femoral head avascular necrosis have been reported with the use of the Pavlik harness, but whether these cases were due to improper application of the device or a complication encountered in the course of the disorder remains unresolved. Complications arise mainly because the sheet of the iliopsoas muscle pushes circumflex artery against the neck of the femur and decreases blood flow to the femoral head. That is the reason why the Frejka pillow is not indicated in all the forms of the developmental dysplasia of the hip.



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