Changes in femoral head size and growth rate in young children with severe developmental dysplasia of the hip
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is known to result in smaller femoral head size in toddlers; however, alterations in femoral head size and growth have not been documented in infants.
To determine with ultrasound (US) whether femoral head size and growth are altered in infants (younger than 1 year of age) with severe DDH.
Materials and methods
We identified all patients at our tertiary care children’s hospital from 2002 to 2014 who underwent US for DDH. We included studies with at least one hip with severe DDH, defined as <25% coverage of the femoral head, and excluded teratological DDH. We constructed a control group of randomized patients with normal US studies. Two pediatric radiologists blinded to diagnosis measured bilateral femoral head diameter. Inter-reader variability and femoral head diameter difference between dislocated and contralateral normal femoral heads were evaluated. Mean femoral head diameters were compared across types of hip joint; femoral head growth rates per month were calculated.
Thirty-seven children with DDH (28 female) were identified (median age: 33 days). The control group contained 75 children (47 female) with a median age of 47 days. Fifty-three of the 74 hips in the study group had severe DDH. Twenty-four children with DDH had completely dislocated hips (nine bilateral, five with contralateral severe subluxations). Thirteen other children had severe subluxation, two bilaterally. There was good inter-reader agreement in the normal femoral head group and moderate agreement in the severe DDH group. In the study group, severe DDH femoral head diameter was significantly smaller than their contralateral normal hip. Severe DDH femoral head diameter was significantly smaller than normal femoral head diameter in the control group. The severe DDH femoral head growth rate was slightly less but not significantly slower than normal femoral head growth rate in the study group.
On US during infancy, femoral head size is significantly reduced in severe cases of DDH.
KeywordsChildren Developmental dysplasia of the hip Femoral head Hip Ultrasound
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
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