What is the pathophysiology of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH)?

Updated: Feb 26, 2018
  • Author: Junichi Tamai, MD; Chief Editor: William L Jaffe, MD  more...
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DDH involves abnormal growth of the hip. Ligamentous laxity is also believed to be associated with hip dysplasia, though this association is less clear. DDH is not part of the classic description of disorders that are associated with significant ligamentous laxity, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or Marfan syndrome.

Children often have ligamentous laxity at birth, yet their hips are not usually unstable; in fact, it takes a great deal of effort to dislocate a child's hip. Therefore, more than just ligamentous laxity may be required to result in DDH. At birth, white children tend to have a shallow acetabulum. [6, 7] ; this may provide a susceptible period in which abnormal positioning or a brief period of ligamentous laxity may result in hip instability. However, this characteristic is not as true for children of African descent, who have a lower rate of DDH. [8]

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