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Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Screening for Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Release Date: March 2006

Summary of Recommendations / Supporting Documents

Summary of Recommendation

  • The USPSTF concludes that evidence is insufficient to recommend routine screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip in infants as a means to prevent adverse outcomes.a

    Rating: "I" statement.

    Rationale: The pathophysiology and natural history of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) are poorly understood.  There is evidence that screening leads to earlier identification; however, 60% to 80% of the hips of newborns identified as abnormal or as suspicious for DDH by physical examination and >90% of those identified by ultrasound in the newborn period resolve spontaneously, requiring no intervention. There is poor evidence (poor quality studies) of the effectiveness of both surgical and non-surgical interventions; avascular necrosis of the hip (AVN) is reported in 0% to 60% of children who are treated for DDH. Thus, the USPSTF was unable to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for DDH but was concerned about the potential harms associated with treatment of infants identified by routine screening.

a Standard language associated with the grade "I" statement is "The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against routinely providing {the service}."  For this specific recommendation, the USPSTF modified the language to indicate the lack of evidence that screening for a condition with a poorly defined natural history would improve health outcomes while there is evidence that interventions  cause known harms.

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Supporting Documents

Screening for Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip, March 2006
Recommendation Statement (PDF File, 90 KB; PDF Help)
Systematic Literature Review (PDF File, 615 KB; PDF Help)
Evidence Synthesis (PDF File Download)

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Current as of March 2006

Internet Citation:

Screening for Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip, Topic Page. March 2006. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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