Ultrasound Characteristics of Clinically Dislocated But Reducible Hips With DDH

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Abstract

Background:

Although ultrasound (US) is frequently used in diagnosis and management of infantile developmental dysplasia of the hip, precise ultrasonographic parameters of what constitutes a dislocation, subluxation etc remain poorly defined. The purpose of this study was (1) to describe the ultrasonographic characteristics of a large cohort of clinically dislocated but reducible hips and (2) to begin to develop ultrasonographic definitions for what constitutes a hip dislocation.

Methods:

A retrospective review of prospectively collected data from an international multicenter study group on developmental dysplasia of the hip was conducted on all patients under 6 months of age with hip(s) that were dislocated at rest but reducible based on initial physical examination (ie, Ortolani positive). Femoral head coverage (FHC), alpha angle (α), and beta angle (β) were measured on pretreatment US by the individual treating surgeon, and were recorded directly into the database.

Results:

Based on 325 Ortolani positive hips, the median FHC on presentation was 10% with an interquartile range of 0% to 23%. A total of 126 of the 327 hips (39%) demonstrated 0% FHC. The 90th percentile was found to be at 33% FHC. Of 264 hips with sufficient α data, the median α was 43 degrees with an interquartile range from 37 to 49 degrees. The 90th percentile for α was at 54 degrees. A total of 164 hips had documented β with a median of 66 degrees and an interquartile range of 57 to 79 degrees; the 90th percentile was at 94 degrees.

Conclusions:

Analysis of a large cohort of patients with dislocated but reducible hips reveals a median percent FHC of 10%, a median α of 43 degrees, and a median β of 66 degrees on initial US. Using a threshold at the 90th percentile, a sensible ultrasonographic definition of a dislocated hip seems to be FHC≤33%, implying that FHC between 34% and 50% may be reasonably termed a subluxation. Although these findings are consistent with previous, smaller reports, further prospective research is necessary to validate these thresholds.

Level of Evidence:

Level IV—diagnostic study.

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