Developmental dysplasia of hip


  • Due to abnormal relationship of femoral head to acetabulum, usually in otherwise healthy infants prior to or shortly after birth
  • Rare: <2% incidence
  • 4-6X more common in females

Clinical Features

  • Early: see asymmetric soft tissue folds in groin, buttock & thigh, limb may be pulled prox & short
    • Galeazzi sign: relative ipsilateral shortening of femur compared to contralateral side
  • Ortolani on ALL young inf in ED, flex hip & knee @ 90 degrees & the thigh is abducted, the lateral aspect of both thighs should touch the table, the dislocated side will be restricted & have "click" as head slips out of acetabulum
    • by 6 wk <30% will have + ortolani or bartlow

Differential Diagnosis

Pediatric hip pain


  • <3mo: ultrasound hip
  • >3mo: AP pelvis with both legs extended in neutral abduction
  • Shenton's line on XR (imaginary line continuous along inferior border of superior pubic ramus and medial neck of femur)
  • Acetabular angle should be <30'


  • Refer ALL patients to pediatric orthopedist
  • 0-6mo: Pavlik harness or spica splint
  • >6mo: ORIF


  • Per orthopedic surgery recommendation

See Also