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After late reduction of the hip in children with developmental dysplasia the acetabular contour slowly improves and it is difficult to know if and when acetabular reconstruction is required. We studied the radiographs of 19 patients with unilateral dislocated or subluxated hips which had been reduced between the ages of one and two years. Preoperatively, all the affected hips showed acetabular dysplasia. After reduction they steadily improved for three years by which time none was dysplastic as measured by the acetabular index. After the age of ten years, when assessed by the more sensitive centre-edge angle, two were found to be dysplastic. It was not possible to predict these from early radiographs. We conclude that the decision to reconstruct an acetabulum should not be taken until three years after reduction, and that a few hips which appear to be developing satisfactorily at that time will, nevertheless, become dysplastic.


Journal article


J bone joint surg br

Publication Date





755 - 759


Acetabulum, Arthrography, Bone Diseases, Developmental, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Hip Dislocation, Humans, Infant, Male, Manipulation, Orthopedic, Treatment Outcome