Discussion | Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia or to give it it’s official name, developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a condition where the “ball and socket” joint of the hip does not form properly. DDH means “the socket” of the hip is too shallow which causes the femoral head “the ball” not to be held in place securely enough. In severe cases, the femoral head can come out of the socket (dislocate).

DDH may affect one or both hips, but it’s more common in the left hip. It’s also more common in girls and firstborn children. About 1 or 2 in every 1,000 babies have DDH that needs treating.

Without treatment, DDH may lead to problems such as developing a limp, hip pain and painful and stiff joints.


With early diagnosis and treatment, most children are able to develop normally and have a full range of movement in their hip.

It is important to know that DDH cannot be prevented and is nobody’s fault. A baby’s hips are naturally more flexible for the first few months after birth. However we can make sure we don’t slow a babies hip development down by allowing their hips to freely move and their knees to kick when swaddled. You can do this by tightly swaddling at the shoulders but keeping the swaddle loose by their hips and legs. Also making sure that the baby carriers we use don’t keep babies legs straight and allow the legs to spread to keep the hips in a stable position.

You can find out more information from both the NHS and the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. 


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