Early neonatal universal ultrasound screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip: a single institution observational study



We evaluated the effect of early universal ultrasound (US) screening program for developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH).


A total of 21,676 newborns between 2006 and 2015 were included in the study. All hips were examined by US within the first week of life. The incidence of sonographic hip-types according to the Graf method was analyzed, and then followed prospectively. Risk factors for DDH and treatment measures were also recorded, together with the number of first surgical procedures before the age of three years.


Overall, 92.5% of hips were mature (Graf types Ia, Ib) at first examination, 7.2% were mature (Graf type IIa) and 0.3% were pathological (Graf types IIc to IV). A total of 146 pathological hips were detected in 118 of newborns (0.6%). Only 0.26% of screened population was treated with an orthosis. The rate of first surgical procedures and the rate of late detected DDH were 0.23 and 0.09 per 1000 live births, respectively. Regarding risk factors, positive family history, female gender, breech presentation, and high birth weight were significantly more common in newborns with pathological hips.


Early neonatal universal US screening using Graf method is recommended to timely detect DDH and to provide the optimal conservative approach of management. It seems to be effective in reducing the overall treatment rate, together with the rate of surgical procedures and late detected cases.

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Correspondence to Bojan Korpar.

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Treiber, M., Korpar, B., Sirše, M. et al. Early neonatal universal ultrasound screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip: a single institution observational study. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00264-020-04915-0

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  • Developmental dysplasia of the hip
  • Hip ultrasound
  • Screening
  • Newborn