The Diagnosis and Management of Neonatal Hip Instability: Results of a Clinical and Targeted Ultrasound Screening Program

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This article reports the results of a neonatal hip screening program comprising clinical screening and targeted ultrasound performed by orthopaedic surgeons. Over 7 years, from 1995 to 2001, there were 15,397 live births in the authors' region. Seven hundred thirty-three babies (4.8% of births) were referred for hip ultrasound: 80% for risk factors and 20% for instability. Eighty-three babies (5.4/1,000) were splinted in a Pavlik harness. Three of these subsequently required surgery (1.9/1,000). Ten patients (0.65/1000) presented with hip dislocation after 12 weeks of age, nine of whom required open or closed reduction (0.56/1,000). From 1978 to 1985, when neonatal pediatricians clinically screened all babies, 18 babies presented late from 13,707 births (1.3/1000). Since the introduction of orthopaedic screening and targeted ultrasound, there has been a significant reduction in late diagnosis in the authors' institution.

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