In case of suspected congenital hip joint problems (dysplasia) in an infant, the medical practitioner’s referral to ultrasonic examination is required, which is specifically recommended for infants, and precise visualisation of cartilaginous structures is needed, which cannot be seen, for example, in an X-ray. Ultrasonic examination is the primary method to confirm the dislocation of the joint.
If the dislocation is diagnosed by the fifth week of the infant’s life, it is possible to restore an anatomically correct form to the hip with good results even without surgical intervention. After the fifth week of life rapid ossification of the bones begins, and treatment without surgical intervention may be ineffective. In the ORTO clinic, we have started ultrasonic examinations of infants’ hips, using specific equipment intended for this purpose.
According to data from studies conducted worldwide, if examination of hip joints were performed for all infants, dysplasia would be found in five to seven out of 1000 infants. However, in reality, not all infants undergo this examination in Latvia, since there is no screening program in place in the country. Therefore, statistical data show that only 0.5% to 1% infants have dislocated hip joints.
“At the ORTO clinic, we conduct hip joint surgery on youth and adults who were not diagnosed and treated for dysplasia of this joint when they were infants” says Ilze Cīrule-Liseka, radiation therapist at the ORTO clinic, who specializes in ultrasound examination of infants’ hip joints. “Hip joint dislocation gradually causes dislocation of other joints. In a way, the body adapts, but in reality it causes incorrect weight bearing, inflammation, damage of soft tissues and bones at the joint, as well as pain. If the problem had been found and prevented during infancy, nothing like this would have to be endured later in life” points out Ilze Cīrule-Liseka.
Parents may turn the infant’s pediatrician to the potential need to carry out ultrasonic examination of the hip joint:
- If one of the parents has had congenital dysplasia of the hip
- If the infant is a girl, as in girls hip joint pathologies are 4 to 8 times more frequent than in boys
- For the first child in the family, as this occurs to first-borns more frequently
- In case of multiple fetus pregnancy
- If the child had incorrect fetal positioning
- In case of decreased amniotic fluid
To apply for an ultrasonic examination of an infant’s hip at the ORTO clinic, you need a doctor’s referral.
The price of the examination: 35 euros