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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 102-B, Issue 4 | Pages 495 - 500
1 Apr 2020
Milligan DJ Cosgrove AP


To monitor the performance of services for developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) in Northern Ireland and identify potential improvements to enhance quality of service and plan for the future.


This was a prospective observational study, involving all infants treated for DDH between 2011 and 2017. Children underwent clinical assessment and radiological investigation as per the regional surveillance policy. The regional radiology data was interrogated to quantify the use of ultrasound and ionizing radiation for this population.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 97-B, Issue 11 | Pages 1572 - 1576
1 Nov 2015
Donnelly KJ Chan KW Cosgrove AP

Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) should be diagnosed as early as possible to optimise treatment. The current United Kingdom recommendations for the selective screening of DDH include a clinical examination at birth and at six weeks. In Northern Ireland babies continue to have an assessment by a health visitor at four months of age. As we continue to see late presentations of DDH, beyond one year of age, we hypothesised that a proportion had missed an opportunity for earlier diagnosis. We expect those who presented to our service with Tonnis grade III or IV hips and decreased abduction would have had clinical signs at their earlier assessments.

We performed a retrospective review of all patients born in Northern Ireland between 2008 and 2010 who were diagnosed with DDH after their first birthday. There were 75 856 live births during the study period of whom 645 children were treated for DDH (8.5 per 1000). The minimum follow-up of our cohort from birth, to detect late presentation, was four years and six months. Of these, 32 children (33 hips) were diagnosed after their first birthday (0.42 per 1000).

With optimum application of our selective screening programme 21 (65.6%) of these children had the potential for an earlier diagnosis, which would have reduced the incidence of late diagnosis to 0.14 per 1000. As we saw a peak in diagnosis between three and five months our findings support the continuation of the four month health visitor check. Our study adds further information to the debate regarding selective versus universal screening.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2015;97-B:1572–6.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 86-B, Issue 2 | Pages 244 - 250
1 Mar 2004
Maxwell SL Lappin KJ Kealey WD McDowell BC Cosgrove AP

We have examined the effect of arthrodiastasis on the preservation of the femoral head in older children with Perthes’ disease. We carried out a prospective trial in boys over the age of eight years and girls over seven years at the time of the onset of symptoms. The patients had minimal epiphyseal collapse and were compared with a conventionally treated, consecutive, historical control group. Arthrodiastasis was applied for approximately four months. The primary outcome measure was the extent of epiphyseal collapse at the end of the fragmentation phase. One of the 15 treated hips and nine of the 30 control hips showed a loss of height of 50% or more of the lateral epiphyseal column on the anteroposterior radiographs (Herring grade-C classification). On a Lauenstein view, one of the treated hips and 19 of the control hips showed at least a loss of height of 50% of the anterior epiphyseal column. The complications of arthrodiastasis included pin-site infection in most hips, transient joint stiffness in two, and breakage of a pin in two. The final outcome will be known when all the patients and the control group reach skeletal maturity.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 84-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1176 - 1179
1 Nov 2002
Ballard J Cosgrove AP

A study of 78 children (110 hips) was undertaken in an attempt to assess the risk of avascular necrosis (AVN) after slipped capital femoral epiphysis based on the radiological appearances of the hip at the time of presentation.

Physeal separation, which was defined as the amount of separation of the anterior lip of the epiphysis from the metaphysis on the frog lateral view, was assessed. Of the eight hips which developed AVN, seven had anterior physeal separation. We conclude that anterior physeal separation is associated with a high incidence of subsequent AVN after slipped capital femoral epiphysis and that screw fixation may not be appropriate in these patients.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 5 | Pages 744 - 746
1 Jul 2000
Kealey WDC Mayne EE McDonald W Murray P Cosgrove AP

Recent reports have suggested an association between Perthes’ disease and an underlying thrombophilic or hypofibrinolytic tendency. In Northern Ireland there is a high incidence of Perthes’ disease (11.7 per 100 000 or 1 in 607 children) in a stable paediatric population.

We reviewed 139 children with Perthes’ disease and compared them with a control group of 220 aged- and gender-matched healthy primary schoolchildren with similar racial and ethnic backgrounds.

There were no significant deficiencies of antithrombotic factors protein C, protein S, antithrombin III or resistance to activated protein C. A total of 53 (38.1%) of the children with Perthes’ disease had a prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (> 38) compared with 13 (5.9%) of the control group (p < 0.001). Our findings have shown that using standard assays, thrombophilia secondary to antithrombotic factor deficiency or resistance to activated protein does not appear to be an aetiological factor for Perthes’ disease. The cause of the prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time, usually associated with a clotting factor deficiency, is under further investigation.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 2 | Pages 167 - 171
1 Mar 2000
Kealey WDC Cosgrove AP Moore AJ Cook S

It has been suggested that Perthes’ disease is more prevalent in urban areas, and that the risk increases with deprivation. We present the findings of a preliminary analysis of Perthes’ disease in Northern Ireland, which is shown to have one of the highest national annual rates of incidence in the world (11.6 per 100 000). Of the 313 children diagnosed over a seven-year period, 311 were allocated to the enumeration districts of the 1991 census, thus allowing the incidence to be calculated using both spatial and non-spatial aggregation. The cases were grouped according to the size of the settlement from highly urbanised to open countryside and by level of area deprivation. While the incidence of Perthes’ disease was found to be associated with indicators of the level of deprivation for areas, there was no evidence to suggest that there was an increased risk in urban areas; the highest rate was found in the most deprived rural category.