Newborn screening tests take place in the first few weeks of life.  These tests are to detect any rare problems that can only be picked up after the baby is born.  There is a booklet all about these tests available HERE

The newborn screening programme keeps a record of your baby's personal screening results. Only authorised staff and appropriate healthcare professionals have access to this information. All NHS staff are bound by a strict code of confidentiality.

 There are some changes to newborn bloodspot screening information here. NEWBORN BLOOD SPOT




Is my baby at risk of DDH?

There is an increased risk of hip problems if

* there is a family history of DDH eg parent or brother/ sister

* your baby was in the breech position before/at birth

* your baby is a girl and weighed over 4kg at birth

* your baby is a girl and was born over a week later than expected date

* your baby appears to be ‘moulded’ or lying squint

* your baby is tightly ‘wrapped’ or swaddled in a blanket

  *Always make sure your baby’s legs are able to move freely*


What if DDH is suspected?

If there are any concerns from the hip examination or there are any risk factors, your baby will be referred for a hip ultrasound scan. This may be done on the ward before you take your baby home or within a few weeks at the Baby Hip Clinic. Ultrasound will give a clear image of your baby’s hip and its development.

 Are all hip problems detected at birth?

Not all hip problems are detectable at birth. Your baby’s hips will be examined again at the routine 6 week developmental assessment with your GP. You may also be able to detect if your baby has a hip problem.                                                                                                              

 What should I look for in the future?

Consult your GP or Health Visitor if

* one of your baby’s legs looks shorter than the other

* there is an extra deep crease on the inside of your baby’s thigh

* there is any hip stiffness  eg if one hip moves differently from the other

* when you change your baby’s nappy, one leg does not appear to move outwards as fully as the other one

* your baby drags one leg when crawling

* your child walks with one foot on tiptoe with the heel off the floor

* your child walks with a limp or a peculiar waddle


Your GP/Health visitor can refer your baby to the Baby Hip Clinic at Victoria Hospital or the Paediatric Orthopaedic Clinic for examination and hip ultrasound / hip X-rays. 


Contact telephone number for Baby Hip Clinic: 01592 643355 extension 29071

Information on    




Why has my baby been referred for a Hip Ultrasound Scan?

Your baby’s hips were examined as part of the newborn examination. You will also have been asked about possible risk factors for DDH.

An ultrasound scan is requested because 

* there is excessive movement or stiffness of one or both of your baby’s hips on examination

* there is a family history of DDH                                                                       

* your baby was born in the breech position or was lying in the breech position 

a few weeks before birth                                                                                     

* your baby girl weighs over 4kg                                                                          

* your baby girl was born more than a week over expected date                         

* there is some postural moulding eg positional talipes                                       

 When will the ultrasound be done?

The ultrasound scan may be done on the ward before you go home. If not, a telephone or written appointment will be given for the Baby Hip Clinic within a few weeks. If you do not receive an appointment, please contact the number above.


Where is the Baby Hip Clinic?

The Baby Hip Clinic is held every Tuesday morning in the Children’s Ambulatory Care Unit situated in the Children’s Unit of Victoria Hospital. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please contact the number above to arrange an alternative appointment.


What does the Hip Ultrasound Scan involve? 

 You will be asked to undress your baby from the waist down, keeping the nappy in place. The Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner will remove the nappy and examine your baby. The scan probe will be moved over the outside of your baby’s hip until an accurate scan image is obtained. The probe will have a small amount of gel on it which is easily wiped off afterwards. You will be given the result of the scan at the end of the procedure. The scan pictures are printed and kept in your baby’s medical notes.

 Will my baby need treatment?

If the scan shows satisfactory hip development, no treatment is required. The scan may show minor abnormalities such as a shallow or immature hip joint. Most of these will resolve without treatment but further scans will be necessary to monitor development.

An unstable hip or a dislocated hip will require treatment. Most babies are fitted with a little splint called a Pavlik harness which keeps the legs in a wide, flexed position. Positioning the legs this way for a few weeks encourages development of a stable hip joint.

 If Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) is not treated there is an increased risk of early arthritis, difficulties with walking and hip pain. 


Reviewed 05.04.17




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