Bone, Joint and Muscle Conditions

Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)

What Is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip Dysplasia

Structures blocking reduction in DDH. These interpositions may block reduction of the hip.

Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is the name for a wide variety of problems in the formation of children's hips. Some of these problems are present at birth (congenital). Others develop as your child grows.

In general, DDH makes it more likely that your child's leg bones can come out of the hip joint (dislocation).

DDH can range from mild to serious. In some cases, DDH means the child has shallow hip sockets that make dislocation more likely. Other children are born with leg bones that are already out of the socket.

While we can treat most children who have DDH successfully, it is important to find the problem and start treatment quickly. Children who do not get help can develop a limp and a serious case of arthritis as adults.

Hip Dysplasia in Children

Hip Dysplasia in Children

DDH with residual acetabular dysplasia. Radiographs at birth, 3, 10 and 19 years (top to bottom) show persisting dysplasia.

About one in every 1,000 children in the United States has some form of developmental dysplasia of the hip. The great majority of them are girls. Babies who are born bottom first (breech) are more likely to have DDH.

Children with family members who have DDH are more likely to have the problem.

Hip Dysplasia at Seattle Children's

Our doctors are known nationally for their skill in treating developmental dysplasia of the hip. We have an experienced ultrasound unit that produces high-quality images to help your child's doctor choose the right treatment.

We have years of experience making custom braces and splints to help correct hip problems. Read about braces and splints and our other orthotics and prosthetics services .