Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Congenital hip dislocation: an increasing and still uncontrolled disability?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 27 November 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:1527
  1. J C Catford,
  2. G C Bennet,
  3. J A Wilkinson


    A study of 178 cases of congenital dislocation of the hip in babies born between 1965 and 1978 in Southampton health district showed that the incidence had virtually doubled over this period. Established cases (persisting beyond the first birthday) had risen to around two cases per 1000 per live births. One-third of these were first diagnosed after the age of 1 year and one-fifth after 18 months. The findings are particularly disappointing as there were opportunities after the neonatal period for earlier diagnosis. Thus, neonatal screening appears to have failed to make a substantial impact on the morbidity of the disease, probably because of a combination of inherent difficulties in the neonatal screening test as well as failure in its proper application. Much greater vigilance is needed during the first year of life if congenital dislocation of the hip is to be detected and treated as early as possible. Perhaps this could be achieved if all health professionals were more aware of the problem and were encouraged to examine hips at every opportunity and health authorities periodically audited their results.