QMy doctor says my baby has ‘clicky’ hips. What does this mean?
APaediatrician Dr Mike Starr says:
Babies’ hips should be checked by a maternity child health nurse or doctor soon after birth, and another two or three times in the first three months of life. Sometimes a ‘click’ is felt and, usually, most clicky hips are normal. However, the click may be a sign that the hip hasn’t developed normally.
The ball-shaped head of the thigh bone (femur) should be inside the cup-shaped socket on the side of the pelvis (called the acetabulum). The acetabulum may not develop properly so that the socket is shallow. The head of the femur may be able to move in and out of the socket. If it stays out, it is dislocated.
If a baby has persistently clicky hips, she should be referred to a paediatrician, who may order an ultrasound to check whether the hip is normal. If the baby does have developmental dysplasia of the hip, she may need to be fitted with a special splint to hold the hip in the right position.