Progress in Prevention of Late Developmental Dislocation of the Hip by Sonographic Newborn Hip “Screening”: Results of a Comparative Follow-up Study

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SummaryEffective prevention of late developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH) has become a reality because a safe diagnosis can be obtained as early as possible by using the original sonographic method of Graf. Correct sonographic diagnosis must be immediately followed by adequate and biomechanically rational and consistent therapeutic management and long-term follow-up. Results of a strictly comparative follow-up study underscore the enormous progress in the quality of therapeutic results obtained with a general sonographic newborn hip “screening” directly in the maternity ward: Successful anatomic healing by conservative treatment without femoral head necrosis, without operation, and without late DDH is consistently achieved and costs less when sonographic assessment is made in the first days of life. For these reasons, the Austrian government has included sonographic neonatal hip screening in its general health prevention program and has reimbursed the cost of this preventive procedure since 1992.

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