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What is hip ultrasound?

Ultrasound is an imaging technology that uses high frequency sound waves to view internal organs and produce diagnostic pictures of the human body. No radiation is used.

Hip ultrasound is used to take pictures of the hips of patients to look for a dislocated or underdeveloped hip.

It can be performed in babies from the newborn period to about 6 to 8 months of age.

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches a hip ultrasound

The Ultrasound Division at Boston Children's Hospital is specially designed, equipped and staffed to obtain high quality ultrasound examinations of pediatric patients of any size, age and medical condition, including tiny newborns, small infants, toddlers, young children, and maturing adolescents.

Hip Ultrasound | In Depth

When should my child get a hip ultrasound?    

Conditions that may require a hip ultrasound include, but are not limited to,

  • abnormality found through physical examination of a baby's hip
  • a family history of hip dysplasia
  • delivery from a breech birth

How should the patient prepare for the procedure? 

There is no preparation required.

What will happen during the procedure?    

The baby will lie on an examining table on his or her back.

The technologist or doctor will place some warm gel (a lotion) on a transducer (similar to a microphone) and place it on the baby's hip and take some pictures.

Both hips will be examined.

The test usually takes 30 minutes or less to perform.

How does this technique work? What does the radiologist see? 

Ultrasound is used in this setting to look at a baby's hip socket to see if it is well-formed and situated properly.

How will I learn the results? 

Either from the radiologist or your physician. 

What if I have other questions? 

Ask the radiologist interpreting the examination, or call Ultrasound at 617-355-7840 to speak with the secretary, a technologist, or a physician.

Hip Ultrasound | Programs & Services