The Prevalence and Treatment of Hip Dysplasia in Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS)

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Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder with multisystem involvement. There are a number of associated orthopaedic manifestations, the most recognized of which is scoliosis. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of hip dysplasia and to investigate its treatment in patients with PWS.


Following IRB approval, all patients seen at our institution’s Prader-Willi multidisciplinary clinic were retrospectively reviewed. Only patients with an ultrasound, anteroposterior (AP) spine, AP abdomen, AP hip radiograph, and/or skeletal survey were included in the study. The presence of hip dysplasia was determined based on ultrasonographic and/or radiographic measurements performed by a single fellowship trained pediatric orthopaedic surgeon. A multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to test the association between patient demographics and the prevalence of hip dysplasia. Age at diagnosis, treatment type, and outcomes were recorded for patients that underwent treatment for hip dysplasia.


Hip dysplasia was identified in 30% (27/90) of the patient population. Two of the 27 patients (7.4%) had normal films but had a history of resolved hip dysplasia. Prevalence was not associated with sex (P=0.7072), genetic subtype (P=0.5504), race (P=0.8537), ethnicity (P=0.2191), or duration of follow-up (P=0.4421). Eight of the 27 patients (30%) underwent hip treatment by Pavlik harness (2/8), Pavlik harness and closed reduction (1/8), closed reduction (3/8), open reduction (1/8), and unspecified hip surgery (1/8). The mean age at diagnosis was 2 months for the patients that were successfully treated for hip dysplasia (3/8) and 12 months for those who had residual dysplasia following the treatment (5/8).


Our study demonstrates a higher prevalence of hip dysplasia in patients with PWS than previously documented. The age at which hip dysplasia develops remains unknown; therefore, we recommend an ultrasound screening for all infants with PWS at 6 weeks of age and subsequent radiographic studies at 1, 2, 5, 10, and 15 years of age to allow for early diagnosis and intervention.

Level of Evidence:

Level III—retrospective comparative study.

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