Current UK NSC recommendations > Developmental dislocation of the hip

The UK NSC recommendation on Developmental dislocation of the hip screening in newborns

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme recommended
Last review completed July 2006
Next review due in n/a
Key downloads

Evidence to support continuation or cessation of existing screening programmes should be reviewed regularly. The process for this is currently being revised, which is why this topic does not currently have a review date. The new process will be published in due course. Each programme has an active portfolio of research, evidence and audit to support continual improvement. Find out more about screening for developmental dislocation of the hip, as part of the newborn and infant physical examination programme in England.

Screening for congenital dislocated hip (CDH) and developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is part of the physical examination of newborn and 6-8 week old babies.


Ultrasound screening should not be offered to all babies, unless part of an ethically approved and externally funded research project.


Find general information about population health screening.

More about Developmental dislocation of the hip

The hip is a 'ball and socket' joint. The top of the thigh bone (femur) is shaped like a ball and fits into a matching cup (acetabulum) on the outer side of the pelvis. Various problems can affect the baby's hip as it develops. Sometimes the ball does not lie safely in the socket and is displaced from it: this is what is meant by dislocation. Sometimes, although the ball is in the socket it can slip in and out of place. This is what is meant by the hip being dislocatable. Sometimes although the hip is in the socket it is not deeply in place and we call this hip 'subluxated.' Finally in some children although the hip is in the right place the socket does not grow properly and is too shallow. If the hip socket is shallow this may allow the ball to move from the position it should occupy.

1 to 2 in 1,000 babies born may have a hip that is dislocated at birth. A slightly larger group of children have hips which are not safely in the socket or in whom the socket is shallower than it should be. In general girls are more likely to be affected than boys. The left hip is more often affected than the right.

» Read more about developmental dislocation of the hip on NHS Choices

Screening in the UK

Compare how screening is offered across the UK.


British Association of Perinatal Medicine
Faculty of Public Health
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Midwives
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

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