Disparity between clinical and ultrasound examinations in neonatal hip screening

Bong Soo Kyung, Soon Hyuck Lee, Woong Kyo Jeong, Si Young Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: For early detection of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), neonatal hip screening using clinical examination and/or ultrasound has been recommended. Although there have been many studies on the reliability of both screening techniques, there is still controversy in the screening strategies; clinical vs. selective or universal ultrasound screening. To determine the screening strategy, we assessed the agreement among the methods; clinical examination by an experienced pediatric orthopedic surgeon, sonographic morphology, and sonographic stability. Methods: From January 2004 to June 2009, a single experienced pediatric orthopedic surgeon performed clinical hip screenings for 2,686 infants in the neonatal unit and 43 infants who were referred due to impressions of hip dysplasia before 3 months of age. Among them, 156 clinically unstable or high-risk babies selectively received bilateral hip ultrasound examinations performed by the same surgeon using the modified Graf method. The results were analyzed statistically to detect any correlations between the clinical and sonographic findings. Results: Although a single experienced orthopedic surgeon conducted all examinations, we detected only a limited relationship between the results of clinical and ultrasound examinations. Ninety-three percent of the clinically subluxatable hips were normal or immature based on static ultrasound examination, and 74% of dislocating hips and 67% of limited abduction hips presented with the morphology below Graf IIa. A total of 80% of clinically subluxatable, 42% of dislocating and 67% of limited abduction hips appeared stable or exhibited minor instability on dynamic ultrasound examination. About 7% of clinically normal hips were abnormal upon ultrasound examination; 5% showed major instability and 3% showed dysplasia above Graf IIc. Clinical stability had small coefficients between ultrasound examinations; 0.39 for sonographic stability and 0.37 for sonographic morphology. Between sonographic stability and morphology, although 71% of hips with major instability showed normal or immature morphology according to static ultrasound examination, the coefficient was as high as 0.64. Conclusions: Discrepancies between clinical and ultrasound examinations were present even if almost all of the exams were performed by a single experienced pediatric orthopedic surgeon. In relation to screening for DDH, it is recommended that both sonographic morphology and stability be checked in addition to clinical examination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-209
Number of pages7
JournalCiOS Clinics in Orthopedic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by The Korean Orthopaedic Association.


  • Clinical examination
  • Developmental dysplasia of hip
  • Neonatal hip screening
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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