Risk factors for developmental dysplasia of the hip

Several factors increase a child's risk for having developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), including:

  • A family history of DDH.
  • Being the firstborn child or a baby who had low amounts of amniotic fluid in the womb.
  • Being female. DDH affects girls more than boys.
  • Being born buttocks first (breech position).
  • Having knee and foot deformities.
  • Being white. DDH is rarely seen in black children.

DDH may be related to higher-than-expected amounts of the hormones in the mother's bloodstream that loosen ligaments during pregnancy. Female babies may be more sensitive to these hormones, which may be one reason why DDH affects girls more than boys.

Last Updated: May 11, 2009

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas S. Renshaw, MD - Orthopedics

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