Paediatrics - Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip - Leaflet

Developmental Dysplasia of the hip (DDH) was formerly referred to as congenital dislocation of the hip (CDH). Now that the condition is better understood, the former name is preferred.

The hip is a ‘ball and socket’ joint. The top of the thighbone (femur) is shaped like a ball and fits into a matching cup (acetabulum) in the pelvis. In a hip which is unstable, the head of the femur can be moved partially or fully out of its socket. DDH covers a spectrum of hip instability requiring a range of treatment according to how badly unstable the hip is. In a few babies the ‘head’ lies completely out of the socket: a dislocated hip.  For some children, although the hip is not dislocated, the socket does not grow properly and is too shallow allowing the ‘head’ to move with growth from the position it should occupy.  DDH occurs in approximately 6 out of 1000 babies and is not a dangerous condition. It is painless and does not stop a child from kicking their legs or walking.

This leaflets provides information on treatment options.

Release Date: 22 Jul 2011