Last reviewed 01/2018

Congenital dislocation of the hip describes a spectrum of hip abnormality extending from hips which are initially morphologically abnormal, ie. dysplastic, to hips which despite normal morphology are unstable.

Dysplastic hips are characterised by a shallow and anteverted acetabulum with an anteverted femoral head and neck. Such primary dysplasia may be genetically inherited and may be associated with familial joint laxity.

Unstable hips despite normal morphology are congenitally unstable. A majority of these hips resolve without treatment, but a proportion remain unstable and secondary dysplasia develops, which may be indistinguishable from primary dysplasia.