Why Do New Borns Have Clicky Hips?

clicky hips

Hip is a significant weight bearing ball and socket joint. It is flexible in nature and allows a wide range of motion. The term ‘Clicky hips’ refers to a condition that causes a clicking sound in the hips of newborn babies. It is called as ‘developmental dysplasia of hips’ (DDH) in medical terms. Hip dysplasia signifies dislocation and instability of hip in an infant. Top healthcare reports reveal that one in 1,000 babies are born with clicky hips.

Which Babies are at Higher Risk of DDH?

Prevalence of hip dysplasia is more in girls as compared to boys. Usually, babies with a family history of hip-related problems are more prone to develop developmental dysplasia of hips. Apart from this, babies which are born in a breech position before 36 weeks are most likely to have clicky hips. Sometimes, deficiency of amniotic fluid in mother’s womb can also cause hip dysplasia in babies.

Signs and Symptoms of Developmental Dysplasia of Hips

Healthcare providers state that there are no specific symptoms of DDH. However, the following signs may indicate the presence of hip dysplasia in babies.

  • Leg Length Discrepancy – One leg of infant may appear relatively shorter than the other. In addition to this, baby’s leg may turn in outward direction.
  • Folds on Leg – Creases in thigh area and fold on legs usually signify the condition of DDH.
  • Restricted Range of Motion – Baby may not be able to have full leg movements. The little one may experience restricted range of motion due to hip dysplasia.
  • Asymmetry of Buttocks – Buttocks may appear asymmetrical in shape.
  • Development Problems – Clicky hips causes delay in development that may adversely impact how the child crawls, sits, and walks.

Treatment Options for Clicky Hips

Early diagnosis and treatment of DDH help children grow normally. Treatment depends on severity of condition and baby’s overall medical status. The following points elaborate the most common clicky hips treatments.

  • Pavlik Harness – Pediatric orthopedists may use a Pavlik harness to treat infants younger than 6 months of age. It helps to maintain dislocated hips in a normal position. Majority of surgeons recommend wearing this harness continuously for several weeks to get beneficial outcomes. Orthopedic surgeons guide parents for using harness without any complications.
  • Reduction Surgery – Pediatric orthopedists may suggest a surgical procedure called as ‘reduction’ to children who are diagnosed with DDH after a long interval. It is normally performed under general anesthesia. Surgeons will precisely position the hips of children and apply a special plaster cast over it carefully. Children may have to wear this plaster cast for at least 15 weeks following reduction surgery. If this surgical procedure fails to provide relief, then children may have to undergo osteotomy surgery for hip reconstruction.

Parents should seek a prompt medical care if they notice any signs of hip dysplasia in babies to avoid complications in future. Frequent health checkups may help diagnose clicky hips as well as other medical problems in babies.


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