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At Boston Children’s Hospital, we know that the first step to treating your child’s hip dysplasia is to form a complete and accurate diagnosis. Your child’s doctor will do a physical exam—the doctor can often feel the ball popping in and out of the socket. The doctor will also take a family history (including any hip problems in your family) and may use diagnostic tests to get detailed images of your child’s hip joint.
Typical tests can include:
• Ultrasound (sonogram): a painless, non-invasive imaging technique that looks inside your child's body without the
use of radiation. Ultrasound is the preferred way to diagnose hip dysplasia in babies up to 6 months of age. It uses
high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of organs, bones, tissues and blood vessels.
• X-ray: diagnostic radiology that shows the dense structures—including bones—inside your child’s body. After a
child is 6 months of age, x-rays are the more reliable test for her, because additional calcium coming into the head
of the femur interferes with the accuracy of the ultrasound imaging. X-rays are also used to diagnose hip dysplasia
in older children, adolescents and adults.
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.”