Infant Hip Ultrasound Service

Urgent  - Scan within 2 weeks

- Any infant suspected with dislocated / unstable hips

- Infants with positive Barlow or Ortolani tests

- All infants presenting with unequal leg lengths, unequal / tight hip abduction or asymmetric skin creases


Routine / At risk  - Scan at 6 weeks of age (corrected age for pre-term babies)


- Family history of hip dysplasia or instability

- Breech deliveries

- Caesarean Section delivery for breech or transverse lie

- Pregnancy complicated by oligohydramnios

- Babies with foot abnormalities especially talipes

- Infants with torticollis or ‘sternomastoid tumour’

- Infants with plagiocephaly

- Infant with any signs of inter-uterine compression ie ‘moulded babies’

- Infants with birth weight below 3rd centile for gestational age

- Infants with other congenital skeletal abnormalities

- Infants with ‘clicky hips’

- Twins (both)

- Parental concern

Referrals should be sent on ERS to the Referral Management Service under the urgent priority to ensure the patient is scanned at 6 weeks. 




All infants with suspected DDH below the age of 12 months should be referred for ultrasound in the first instance. Refer to paediatric orthopaedic consultant for any children above this age.

Babies requiring the application of a Pavlik harness are referred to the Paediatric Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Team and progress monitored with regular ultrasound scans. Those not responding to harness treatment will be referred to the next available Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgical Clinic.


Infants with positional talipes, plagiocephaly or torticollis are referred to the paediatric orthopaedic physiotherapists. Any other leg abnormality noted on examination will be referred to the paediatric orthopaedic surgeons


For further advice, contact Claire Hawkins  

Email:  claire.hawkins11@nhs.net  or phone Trauma and Orthopaedic secretaries 01872 253430


Date Reviewed                              25/09/2019

Date of Next Review                   25/09/2020

Author                                               Dr Rebecca Harling

Contributors                                   Claire Hawkins, Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust


Version No.  2.1