Neonatal DDH: The controversial role of ultrasound for screening

CPD hours:

Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a complicated condition, characterised by a spectrum of abnormalities that affect the neonatal or infant hip. It is diagnosed through clinical examination and/or neonatal hip ultrasound.

Despite high global awareness, the exact definition of DDH remains controversial. This is largely due to variable levels of detection following clinical versus radiologic assessment, which has raised questions regarding the true prevalence of DDH and the value of universal ultrasound screening for infants.

This module outlines the controversial role of neonatal hip ultrasound in screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip.

Ultrasound is no longer recommended for screening in DDH because of insufficient evidence of the benefit in preventing late diagnosis of DDH, however it may be used in circumstances where examination findings are uncertain or follow-up may be unreliable.

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At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Describe the difference between clinically- and radiologically-defined DDH.
  • Understand the variable prevalence of the condition, as determined by the method of diagnosis.
  • Highlight the methods of ultrasound indicated in DDH.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of universal ultrasound screening for infants.

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

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