The technical name is developmental hip dysplasia (DDH) and simply refers to dislocation (incorrect positioning) of the hip joint in babies. This can occur because of the pregnancy hormones that soften ligaments in mothers can also affect the ligaments in babies joints. How a baby is positioned in the womb and delivered can also influence hip position i.e. breech position.
Babies hips will be checked after birth in hospital and every maternal & child health nurse appointment to screen for signs of dysplasia. Some babies will be given a referral for a hip ultrasound at 6 wks post birth where there may be an increased risk for dysplasia.
Treatment for dysplasia can include splinting (i.e. pavlik harness), or different types of surgery & splinting depending on severity of dysplasia and age at diagnosis.
A fact sheet from the Royal Children's Hospital includes some additional information for people wanting to read more:
If you have any concerns about your child's development, always talk to your GP, maternal & child health care nurse or paediatric physiotherapist.