Overview of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (Hip Dysplasia and DDH)

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

Contact the Child and Adult Hip Preservation Program

  • 617-355-6021
  • International: +1-617-355-5209
  • Visit our Locations

If your baby or child has been diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip (also known as DDH or hip dysplasia), you’ll have concerns and questions about her treatment, recovery, outlook and other issues. It may comfort you to know that at Boston Children’s Hospital, Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program we'll provide support every step of the way. Our team has treated a large volume of hip conditions that few pediatric hospitals have ever seen. As a result, we can provide expert diagnosis, treatment and care for every level of complexity and severity of DDH. 

What is Developmental Hip Dysplasia?

Developmental dysplasia (DDH) of the hip is a condition in which the hip joint doesn’t develop normally. DDH occurs on a spectrum of abnormality—ranging from just a minor laxity (looseness) of the ligament that holds the ball in the socket to a complete dislocation, in which the ball is entirely out of the socket. In DDH, the hip socket may be too shallow and/or the ligaments too loose, allowing the ball (head) of the thigh bone (femur) to slip in and out of the socket, partially or completely. The socket and/or the femoral head can be out of position or otherwise not programmed to develop properly. Common signs of DDH include:

Read more about the symptoms and causes of DDH.

How common is hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is the most common developmental hip deformity in children—and the most common single cause of osteoarthritis of the hip in young and older adults. The condition affects one or two out of 1,000 babies. 

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944