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Infant hip ultrasound screening

This page was last updated: March 25th, 2021

Information regarding your baby’s referral for an ultrasound scan of the hips
Your baby has been referred for an ultrasound scan of the hips.

What is it?

It is a safe and painless examination of your child’s hip joints using an ultrasound machine.

Why is it necessary?

This is either because signs suggestive of abnormality of the hip joint have been noticed or your baby has certain risk factors that can be associated with problems within the hip joint.

The signs of hip abnormality include clicking or clunking of the joint, unequal leg length, asymmetric thigh creases or reduced hip movement.

Factors that are associated with an increased risk of hip abnormality include breech births or caesarean section for transverse lie, lack of fluid in the womb causing moulding which may result in flattening of the head, tight neck or foot abnormalities, including positional talipes.  Other factors are twin births, other congenital abnormalities, low birth weight for gestational age and family history of developmental hip problems.

Early recognition of hip problems allows for effective treatment, preventing long-term disability.

What will happen?

The visit involves a physical examination and ultrasound scan.  You will remain with your child throughout the consultation which will take about 10 minutes.

You will be told the result immediately and a report sent your doctor.

How should I prepare?

If possible you should feed your baby before your appointment.  You may require spare nappies and a change of clothes.

It is important that you attend the appointment even if the physical signs or the risk factor condition has improved as there may still be an abnormality of the hip joint.

If you wish to change your appointment, please contact the Orthopaedic Out-patient Booking Office on 01736 758892.

If you have any queries, please contact the department on 01872 253430.

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