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Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Congenital Hip Dislocation |

Congenital hip dislocation is not common among children. But a number of studies have shown that 1 to 3 percent of children are born with unstable and abnormal hips. The doctors often find it daunting to determine the exact cause of individual congenital hip dislocation cases. But they can treat the child in a number of ways to eliminate need for complex hip replacement surgery.


As mentioned earlier, the causes of congenital hip dislocation vary from one patient to another. Hence, orthopaedics often find it challenging to identify the exact cause of the disease. Several studies have shown that the chances of first born babies are more likely to born with abnormal hips as the mother’s uterus is not stretched earlier. However, the condition may also occur in a child due to low amniotic acid level in the womb, a child born with hips first and family history.


Often parents fail to notice the symptoms of congenital hip dislocation. The doctors or nurses have to monitor and check the child’s hips consistently to identify the condition. They often diagnose congenital hip dislocation based on difference in lengths of legs, outward turning legs, uneven positioning of legs in extended position, and limited motion range. Also, congenital hip dislocation can be the reason behind the delay in a child’s motor development like sitting, crawling or walking.


The doctors and nurses often diagnose congenital hip dislocation by monitoring and testing the hips of an infant over a period of one year. They also perform specialized tests to diagnose the condition accurately based on the age of the child. If the child is more than 3 months old, they diagnose the conditions based on common symptoms like delayed motor movement and limited motion range.

On the other hand, they have to perform two distinct tests – ortolani and barlow – to diagnose congenital hip dislocation if the child is three months old. While performing ortolani test the doctor has to apply upward force, whereas he has to apply downward force while performing barlow test. Likewise, the ortolani test results consider movement away from body as abduction, whereas the barlow test results consider movement towards body as abduction.


The skilled doctors always treat congenital hip dislocation according to the age of the child. They treat babies who are younger than 6 months through a harness. The baby needs to wear the harness continuously for 6 months. The harness presses the hip joints into sockets, and abducts the hips by keeping the legs in a frog like position. However, they need to perform surgery to cure congenital hip dislocation if the harness treatment is unsuccessful. They even perform complex surgery to reconstruct the hips if the child is more than 18 months old.

On the whole, the doctors often fail to indentify the exact cause of congenital hip dislocation cases. Also, they need to treat the disease without following any globally accepted guidelines. The skilled paediatric orthopaedics always decides the right treatment option based on their personal experience to treat the kids successfully without conducting hip replacement surgery.

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