How to Say It: dis-PLAY-zha
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a problem with how a child's thigh bone fits into the cup-shaped area on the pelvis. Problems may include:
The Hip Joint
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DDH is caused by how the baby is positioned in the womb.
This problem is more common in newborns. It is also more common in girls. Things that may raise the risk are:
DDH can make the hip unstable and loose. The problem is more common in the left hip, but both hip joints can also be affected. Symptoms may depend on the age of the child. Problems may be:
DDH may be found when a baby is born or during a physical exam. The exam will focus on your child's hips.
Images may be taken of your child's hip. This can be done with:
The goal of treatment is for the hip to be in the correct position. How it is done depends on the child's age. Options are:
Avoiding tight swaddling positions may lower the risk in some children.
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Institute of Child Health
Canadian Paediatric Society
Bittersohl B, Hosalkar HS, et al. Surgical treatment of hip dysplasia in children and adolescents. Orthop Clin North Am. 2012 Jul;43(3):301-315.
Developmental dysplasia of the hip. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/developmental-dysplasia-of-the-hip. Updated February 22, 2017. Accessed July 30, 2020.
Developmental dysplasia of the hip. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website. Available at:
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Updated January 2018. Accessed July 30, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
Last Updated: 3/10/2021