The treatment of neonatal hip dysplasia with splints in the United Kingdom: time for consensus?
Westacott DJ., Perry DC.
Purpose: To understand the variation in the management of hip dysplasia identified from the United Kingdom neonatal selective screening programme. Methods: Having been designed and tested by the research committee of the British Society for Children's Orthopaedic Surgery (BSCOS), a nationwide online survey was conducted of BSCOS members to ascertain their treatment strategies for neonatal hip dysplasia. Results: There were 111 responses (60% of members), which illustrated wide variation in care. In all, 91 (over 80%) of respondents treat more than ten cases per year, yet only 61 (55%) work to an agreed protocol. A total of 90 (81%) use the Graf classification and 103 (93%) use the Pavlik harness initially. Consensus is lacking in key areas including duration of harness use, hours per day, clothing and weaning. Importantly, notable differences of opinion even exist regarding which hip pathologies need treatment. Conclusion: This study quantifies the wide variation in many key elements of the initial treatment of neonatal hip dysplasia in the United Kingdom. This variation appears unnecessary and unacceptable as the Getting It Right First Time programme seeks to standardize care pathways. The charitable sector has called for consensus to mitigate parental anxiety, and it has been suggested that this could allow better integration of hip dysplasia into national screening pathways. Standardized care benefits patients and represents the platform from which we can begin understanding effectiveness and optimizing outcomes. Level of Evidence: Level V.