Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip


These guidelines have been produced to guide clinical decision making for general practitioners (GPs). They are not strict protocols. Clinical common-sense should be applied at all times. These clinical guidelines should never be relied on as a substitute for proper assessment with respect to the particular circumstances of each case and the needs of each patient. Clinicians should also consider the local skill level available and their local area policies before following any guideline.



Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) occurs in 1 to 2% of infants with more females affected than males. It is not always evident at birth and all children should be examined regularly during routine visits until the age of 18 months. Instability ranges from a subluxable joint to a frank dislocation.

Clinical features will vary and depend on the age of the child and the severity of the condition. Examination techniques will depend on the child’s age.

Infants with the following risk factors should be referred for routine screening

  • Breech delivery or presentation
  • Family history of DDH in a first degree relative (parent or sibling).

For current guidelines on assessment, management and referral guidelines on Developmental dysplasia of the hip please visit HealthPathways WA

How to refer

  • Routine non-urgent referrals from a GP or a Consultant are made via the Central Referral Service
  • Routine non-urgent referrals from private hospitals are made via the PCH Referral Office
  • Urgent referrals (less than seven days) are made via the PCH Referral Office. Please call PCH Switch on 6456 2222 to discuss referral with the relevant speciality registrar.  

Reviewer/Team: Dr Kate Stannage, Orthopaedics Dept, PCH Last reviewed: Aug 2021

Review date: Aug 2024
Endorsed by:

CPAC Date:  Aug 2021

This document can be made available in alternative formats on request for a person with a disability.

Referring service