Congenital Hip Dislocation
In congenital hip dislocation, an abnormal formation of the hip joint results in the ball at the top of the thighbone (the femoral head) not being stable within the socket (the acetabulum). The ligaments of the hip joint may also be loose and stretched. The degree of instability or looseness varies. A baby born with this condition may have the ball of the hip loosely in the socket (subluxed) or the ball of the hip may be completely dislocated at birth. Untreated, the condition may cause legs of different lengths and a “duck-like” walk and lead to pain on walking and early osteoarthritis. There is a familial tendency, usually affects the left hip and is more common in girls and first-born children and in babies born in the breech position. It is more common in Native Americans than in whites and is rarely seen in African-American children. One of the early signs a baby has been born with a dislocated hip may be a clicking sound when the baby’s legs are moved apart.