Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Ultrasound screening for hip abnormalities: preliminary findings in 1001 neonates.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 20 September 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:719
  1. L Berman,
  2. L Klenerman


    Several studies have documented the failure of neonatal clinical screening to reduce the incidence of hip dislocation later in infancy. In addition, the practice of splinting unstable hips is said to result in the treatment of many infants who would have developed normally if left unsplinted. Ultrasound provides a detailed image of the bony and cartilaginous neonatal hip. The results of conventional testing for hip instability were compared with ultrasound screening in 1001 neonates. As a result of the ultrasonic image 14 of 17 infants with hip instability were not splinted and developed normally. Two babies without detectable clinical signs were shown to have severe hip abnormalities. It is suggested that clinically normal but dysplastic hips do exist and that ultrasound will detect them. In addition, the overtreatment that is current practice might be avoided.