Congenital Hip Dysplasia

Congenital Hip Dysplasia is a condition where the ball and socket joint of the hip does not form properly in babies or young children. If it goes untreated it can cause issues later in life such as issues with mobility, general pain and osteoarthritis.

Congenital Hip Dysplasia is often referred to as “congenital dislocation of the hip and simply means the ball and socket joint of the hip does not form properly in babies or young children. It can take place in both hips but is more often on the left side of the body.

Checks will take place on your babies hips as part of the newborn physical screening, which takes place within 72 hours of birth. Normally, this will highlight if there are issues and they can be referred to have an ultrasound scan.

In some cases, diagnosis fails and it can have a huge impact on a persons life. If you feel you suffered and would like to make a claim, feel free to contact us if you have a question.

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What is Congenital Hip Dysplasia (CHD)?

Congenital Hip Dysplasia is a condition which is present from birth. It is an abnormality of the hip joint that causes the top of the thigh bone to be unstable in the hip socket. The severity of this condition varies from person to person. It can take place in both hips but is more common on the left hand side.

It is also more commonly found in:

  • Girls
  • Firstborn children
  • Families where there have been childhood hip problems (parents, brothers or sisters)
  • Babies born in the breech position (feet or bottom downwards) after 28 weeks of pregnancy


If your baby is diagnosed with having congenital hip dysplasia then there are two common types of treatments that are used. The treatment will depend on when they’re diagnosed and the severity of the case.

The most common types of treatment are a Pavlik harness or in some cases surgery.

Pavlik harness:

If diagnosis is early then the condition is normally treated with a fabric splint known as a Pavlik harness. The harness is designed to keep both of your babies hips in a stable position, allowing them to develop normally.

Once put on, the harness should be worn constantly for between 6 and 12 weeks and should not be removed unless a medical professional advises it. They should also give you detailed instructions on how to care for your baby whilst they are wearing the harness.


If diagnosis is later in the babies life, surgery may be required. Surgery is normally required once the baby has reached 6 months old, or the Pavlik harness has not had the desired effect.

The most common type of surgery that is used is called reduction. The surgery involves placing the femoral head back into the hip socket.

Reduction surgery is normally carried out under a general anaesthetic and can be done in 2 ways:

  • Closed reduction – the femoral head is placed in the hip socket without the require of any large cuts to the baby.
  • Open reduction – A cut is required. The cut will be in the made in the groin region to allow the surgeon to place the femoral head into the hip socket.

Following surgery your child may be required to wear a cast for a minimum of 12 weeks and after 6 weeks their hip will be checked. The check will also require general anaesthetic to make sure that it is having the desired effect.

What can you claim for?

If Congenital Hip Dysplasia is not detected in these early stages, the problem could go undetected until the child starts to walk and it is noticed that they have a limp. By this time the condition may have caused irreparable damage such as pain, problems walking, the risk of developing osteoarthritis and the risk that surgery may be necessary.

If you believe that a diagnosis of Congenital Hip Dysplasia was delayed due to the negligence of medical practitioners you may be able to make a claim for damages.

If you think you may have a medical negligence claim involving Congenital Hip Dysplasia, contact us today.

No Win No Fee:

Youngs Law offer no win, no fee for all of our medical negligence claims, so if you don’t win your case and receive compensation, you don’t pay us a penny. We will also wait for any fee to be paid to us when you receive you compensation and not upon winning you case.

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For further information and confidential advice from our team of specialist solicitors, please contact a member of our team or call us on

033 33 582 583

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