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1. General joint laxity affecting more than three joints was found in 7 per cent of normal schoolchildren. Similar laxity was found in fourteen of a random series of forty-eight girls, and in nineteen of twenty-six boys, with non-familial congenital dislocation of the hip. Such laxity was also found in four of seven girls and five of seven boys with familial (first degree relative affected) congenital dislocation of the hip.

2. It is concluded that persistent generalised joint laxity, which is often familial, is an important predisposing factor to congenital dislocation of the hip in boys. It is less important in girls, except perhaps in familial cases, as in girls there is an alternative temporary hormonal cause of joint laxity.

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