Some babies are born with lax hips. Excessive laxity may prevent proper development of the hip joint. Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) represents a spectrum of disorders from complete dislocation of the femoral head (“the ball”) from the acetabulum (“the socket”) to a silent underdevelopment of the depth of the hip joint, which may cause premature arthritis in early adulthood.
At an early age, the majority of the hip is made of cartilage and like material and can only be properly evaluated by ultrasound. Our physicians and radiology technicians are skilled in performing and reading ultrasound images of infant hips.
When abnormal hip growth progresses silently, a child presents to the pediatric orthopedic surgeon later. As the young hips begin to turn from cartilage to bone, radiographs replace ultrasound as the imaging study of choice. Simple options like a Pavlick Harness are not effective in the bigger infant, and surgical intervention becomes necessary.
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE) is a potentially devastating hip condition caused by failure of the growth plate at the hip. An unstable SCFE is comparable to a fresh fracture of the hip and is an emergency to the pediatric orthopedic surgeon. In contrary, a stable SCFE involves gradual development of deformity, with the severity of deformity related to the duration of symptoms.