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Baby screening programme ‘failing’ to prevent late diagnosis of hip dysplasia.

In recent weeks, surgeons at Southampton Children’s Hospital said the rate of late diagnoses of hip dysplasia had not improved since hip screening started over 30 years ago.

The current system is being criticised, with surgeons suggesting that the new born checks are failing to diagnose hip problems in newborn babies, resulting in a high number of children requiring corrective surgery.

Alexander Aarvold, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Southampton Hospital said, “Hip dysplasia is a significant public health issue, which, untreated, represents the single largest cause for arthritis and total hip replacement in young adults.”

What is hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia or developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a condition, whereby the ball and socket joint of the hip does not properly form.

Within 72 hours of giving birth, a baby’s hips will be checked as part of the new-born physical examination. A further examination is carried out when the baby is between 6-8 weeks old.

If diagnosed early, the baby will be treated with a fabric splint, securing both hips in a stable position and allowing them to develop normally.

If hip dysplasia is diagnosed after the baby is 6 months old, or if the fabric splints fail to work, surgery may be required.

Delay in diagnosis of hip dysplasia

Early diagnosis and treatment is generally successful, with most children regaining full mobility.

A delay in diagnosis may lead to mobility problems, hip pain or osteoarthritis in later life, with some children requiring multiple surgical operations.

If you are concerned that the diagnosis of hip dysplasia in your child was delayed or the subsequent treatment of this condition was inadequate, contact our expert medical negligence lawyers on 01603 877000.

Our team is highly experienced in dealing with birth injuries and handle all cases with sensitivity and compassion.

Let us take it from here.

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