At Hopkins Children’s, the Division of Orthopedics treats hip dislocation.
What is Hip Dyplasia or Dislocation?
The hip joint consists of a ball and socket connection. Congenital hip dislocation is a condition where the ball is slightly or completely out of the socket in one or both hips at birth. It is usually diagnosed in babies or young children. Hip dislocation occurs in one in 1000 births.
After about three months of age, the affected leg may turn outward or appear shorter than the other. The child may also seem to favor one leg over the other.
Newborns and infants are routinely screened for hip dysplasia. A severely dislocated hip will likely be detected at birth. The more subtle cases may not be detected until the child is older. Physicians will use ultrasound and/or x-ray to diagnose the condition.
The cause of hip dislocation is unknown, but there may be some genetic influence. Low levels of amniotic fluid in the womb can increase the child’s chances of being born with a dislocated hip.
How to Treat Hip Dislocation
If the dislocation is diagnosed when the child is only a few months old, bracing is usually an effective treatment. In some cases, particularly when the condition is discovered in an older child, surgery may be necessary.