Screening in Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)

Paton, Robin (2017) Screening in Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH). The Surgeon . ISSN 1479-666X

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Screening for Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) is a controversial subject. Screening may be by universal neonatal clinical examination (Ortolani or Barlow manoeuvres) with the addition of sonographic imaging of the hip (selective 'at risk' hips or universal screening in the neonate). In the UK, the NIPE guidelines recommend universal neonatal clinical assessment of the hip joints, a General Practitioner 6-8 week clinical 'hip check' and assessment clinically with sonographic imaging at 4-6 weeks for certain 'at risk' hips for pathological DDH.The effectiveness and difficulties arising from the UK current screening policy (clinical and sonographic) are highlighted. The purpose of the review was to assess the risk factors and efficacy of diagnostic methods in DDH, based on longitudinal cohort studies of 10 years or more. Conclusion: Hip screening in DDH does not meet most of the World Health Organisation's criteria for an effective screening programme and should only be considered as surveillance due to its low sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV). There is a significant risk of over diagnosis and over treatment. There is no International consensus on screening in DDH. Pathological DDH is mainly a female condition and 'at risk'/General Practitioner screening identifies few pathological cases in male subjects. The General Practitioner 6-8 week 'hip check' has a very low PPV for pathological DDH and is of doubtful value in screening and diagnosis. Unilateral limitation of hip abduction is a time dependent and useful clinical sign in the diagnosis of pathological DDH. The majority of the previously considered 'at risk' factors are not true risk factors with little or no association with pathological DDH. © 2017 Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (Scottish charity number SC005317) and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

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