Last reviewed 01/2018

The following factors predispose the individual to developmental hip dysplasia:

  • familial component - 20 to 30 fold increased incidence with a positive family history
  • breech presentation - 10 to 15 fold increased incidence
  • being female
  • more common in the first born
  • associated with oligohydramnios
  • more commonly affects the left hip than the right
  • postnatal posture: the commonest incidence of this condition is in North American Indians who swaddle their babies tightly with their hips in full extension. The lowest incidence of this condition is in native African tribes who carry their babies across their backs with hips in wide abduction.
  • multiple developmental abnormalities - if one condition related to intrauterine mould is discovered, another becomes more likely, so developmental hip dysplasia is often associated with club foot. Other associations include spina bifida, torticollis, infantile scoliosis and Down's syndrome (1)


  1. GP magazine (26/1/04), 41.