Is hip dysplasia in my newborn something to worry about?

As many as 10 people in 1,000 are affected by hip dysplasia, a chronic condition that manifests in early childhood.  This condition is characterized by an underdevelopment of the hip bones as well as a looseness in the hip joints. The socket of the hip joint does not hold the hip hone, resulting in a tendency for the hip to dislocate. it can affect walking as well as the blood supply to the hip and can result in permanent disability if not treated early. Causes include being born in the breech position, a genetic predisposition for the condition, as well as anything that prevents movement of the hip joints in utero. 


Babies do not display symptons of this condition until they have learned to crawl, so doctors or midwives conduct screenings both at birth as well as at the six-week check. Additional signs of the condition, such as an asymmetry of the buttock creases or leg lengths may indicate the need for treatment. If a child is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, parents may be instructed to use a removable harness to hold their child's hips in place. While the harness is 95% effective in treating this condition, surgery is recommended for children who do not respond to that particular treatment.