Congenital Hip Dislocation (also called developmental dysplasia of the hip)


Condition Description

Congenital hip dislocation, now most often called developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), occurs when the hip is out of joint (dislocated) or isn’t stable in the joint at birth. The hip might be misshapen at the top of the femur (upper leg bone) or in the hip socket (part of the pelvis). In some newborns, the socket is too shallow and the ball (thigh bone) may slip out of the socket, either part of the way or completely. One or both hips may be involved. Instability of the hip socket may be detectable at birth. However, in many infants, the dysplasia is not detectable until a bit later in life. All babies' hips must be examined for hip dysplasia after birth and during early check-ups. There are several methods to detect a dislocated hip or a hip that is able to be dislocated. The most common method of identifying the condition is a physical exam of the hips, which involves applying pressure while moving the hips. The health care provider listens for any clicks, clunks, or pops. If hip dysplasia is found 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 needed to put the hip back in joint. Our program has been tracking congenital hip dislocation among live births in select counties since 2005 and gradually expanding statewide.

  • Using data from births to Hennepin and Ramsey county residents between 2007-2011, we found that 5.3 babies were born with congenital hip dislocation per 10,000 births.
  • Using this data, we estimate about 38 babies are born with congenital hip dislocation every year in Minnesota.

Parental education and support are essential, and local, regional and national organizations may be very helpful.

Condition specific organizations

Additional information and resources for families are available.