How Is Hip Dysplasia in Infants Diagnosed?


Quick Answer

According to International Hip Dysplasia Institute, hip dysplasia in infants is diagnosed by a combination of physical exams and imaging such as x-rays and ultrasound. Seattle Children's states that in physical exams, a doctor gently moves the baby's legs to look for signs that the legs can come out of the sockets.

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Full Answer

According to Seattle Children's, a doctor does an ultrasound check on a child less than 4 years old or an x-ray check on a child older than 4 years if the child is suspected to have developmental dysplasia of the hip. Ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to detect structures within the body, and a machine translates the sound waves findings into a picture, states Seattle Children's.

During physical examination, NCT states that a health care professional checks to see how a baby holds his legs when at rest, whether both legs are the same length, whether the legs lie in a similar position and whether the natural thigh creases at the groin are symmetrical. International Hip Dysplasia Institute states that a baby is more at risk of getting DDH if born in a breech position, born to a family with a DDH history or is a twin or multiple. NCT adds that first pregnancies and deficiency of amniotic fluid in the womb also lead to DDH in infants.

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