Functional treatment of developmental hip dysplasia with the Tübingen hip flexion splint

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Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a deformity that may cause to serious disability. Early diagnosis and early treatment are very important. Our aim is to report the outcomes of infants with DDH who were treated with the Tübingen hip flexion splint.

Materials and methods:

Retrospectively, 49 patients (45 female, four male; 60 hips) diagnosed with DDH were included in the study. For diagnosis, all patients underwent ultrasonography of the hip performed according to the Graf method. Infants whose hips were Graf type 2b or worse underwent orthotic treatment. Treatment success was defined as development into a mature hip (Graf type 1 on ultrasonography and no acetabular dysplasia apparent on the latest radiograph).


Overall median age at the start of treatment was 18 weeks (14-25). Median total treatment time (from initial application of the splint to the end of weaning) was 17 weeks (14-20). Median duration of follow up was 13.5 months (8.5-31.5). Treatment was successful in 56/60 hips (93.3%). Of the 56 successfully treated patients, acetabular dysplasia was present early in follow up but later resolved in 4 patients. No complications were encountered in any patients in the study.


The Tübingen splint provides abduction, but due to its different design it offers the advantages of preventing hip adduction and leaving the knee and ankle joints free. Our findings suggest that in infants with DDH, the Tübingen hip flexion splint is an effective form of treatment.

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