Newborn and infant physical examination standards in a dedicated clinic for developmental dysplasia of the hip

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

In 2014 our centre started a dedicated clinic for developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH). The aim of the clinic was to streamline DDH referrals, enabling timely review, imaging and multidisciplinary treatment. Ongoing audit has been carried out based on the UK National Screening Committee newborn and infant physical examination (NIPE) guidelines, first published in 2008.

METHODS

A three-year prospective audit was undertaken between 2014 and 2016 assessing compliance with NIPE standards (ST2b and ST2d) relating to timeliness of expert consultation following positive ultrasonography findings of DDH with positive examination or risk factors.

RESULTS

A total of 257 babies born between January 2014 and December 2016 were seen in our dedicated DDH clinic, with 106 with abnormalities on ultrasonography and 54 requiring treatment. Compliance with ‘expert consultation within 4 weeks of age for babies with an abnormality detected on clinical examination and positive ultrasonography' improved from 50% in 2014 to 53% in 2015 and 71% in 2016. Compliance with ‘expert consultation within 8 weeks of age for babies with positive risk factors, negative examination and positive ultrasonography' improved from 65% in 2014 to 93% in 2015 and 100% in 2016.

CONCLUSIONS

This prospective audit assessing timeliness of expert consultation has demonstrated ongoing improvements between 2014 and 2016. A greater proportion of babies with ultrasonography evidence of DDH have been seen at the appropriate time. In the majority of cases, this has enabled timely non-invasive treatment with a Pavlik harness rather than surgery.

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