Pilot Evaluation of Anterior Dynamic Ultrasound Screening for Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip in a Regional Hospital

Sue Charlton, Lyn Muir, Tim Skinner, Lucie Walters

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    Introduction: Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) is the most common notifiable musculoskeletal birth defect in South Australia (SA). Despite routine screening by physical examination of the hips in the neonatal period and at 6 weeks of age, the risk of late diagnosis is increased in rural areas. It is assumed this is due to the examining doctors' reduced clinical expertise. Introducing Anterior Dynamic Ultrasound (ADUS) has reduced the late detection rates in Sweden to almost zero, and may benefit Australian infants in rural areas if routine screening was introduced. This study reports on a small implementation pilot in a SA regional hospital where volunteer postnatal mothers consented to their babies having ADUS examinations. Methods: The pilot was evaluated by collecting results of physical examination, ADUS, and surveying parental impressions of the screening test. Results: Hips of 86 infants underwent ADUS during the implementation pilot. Parents' perceptions were mainly very positive and indicated ADUS was an accessible and acceptable screening test. Of the hips scanned, three were found to have maximum movement of the femoral head of >3 mm and were deemed to demonstrate increased laxity. Four hips described as loose or mobile on clinical examination were found to be within normal limits of maximum mobility on ADUS. Conclusions: This study has demonstrated that a larger scale implementation project would be feasible in regional Australia, and would enable researchers to better understand how to reduce the late diagnosis rate of DDH in rural areas.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2091
    Number of pages9
    JournalRural and Remote Health
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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