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Children's Orthopaedics

Treatment outcome of neonatal hip instability

18 years clinical follow-up of 96 patients compared with a control group

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We aimed to determine hip-related quality of life and clinical findings following treatment for neonatal hip instability (NHI) compared with age- and sex-matched controls. We hypothesized that NHI would predispose to hip discomfort in long-term follow-up.


We invited those born between 1995 and 2001 who were treated for NHI at our hospital to participate in this population-based study. We included those that had Von Rosen-like splinting treatment started before one month of age. A total of 96 patients treated for NHI (75.6 %) were enrolled. A further 94 age- and sex-matched controls were also recruited. The Copenhagen Hip and Groin Outcome Score (HAGOS) questionnaire was completed separately for both hips, and a physical examination was performed.


The mean follow-up was 18.2 years (14.6 to 22.0). The HAGOS scores between groups were similar and met statistical and clinical significance only in the Symptoms subscale (mean difference 3.80, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.31 to 7.29; p = 0.033). Those patients who had undergone treatment for NHI had a higher frequency of positive flexion-adduction-internal rotation test (odds ratio (OR) 2.6, 95% CI 1.2 to 5.6; p = 0.014), resisted straight leg rise test (OR 4.5, 95% CI 1.4 to 14.9; p = 0.014), and also experienced more pain in the groin during passive end range hip flexion (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.2 to 5.3; p = 0.015) than controls.


NHI predisposes to hip discomfort in clinical tests, but no clinically relevant differences in experience of pain, physical function, and hip-related quality of life could be observed between the treated group and matched controls in 18 years of follow-up.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2020;102-B(12):1767–1773.

Correspondence should be sent to Mari Maikku. E-mail:

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