1. A survey of genetic and other etiological factors has been carried out in 589 index patients with congenital dislocation of the hip and their families, with special investigation of acetabular dysplasia, familial joint laxity and a comparison of neonatal and late-diagnosis cases.
2. It is believed that there are two etiological groups with congenital dislocation of the hip, i) a group with acetabular dysplasia which is inherited as a multiple gene system and is responsible for a high proportion of cases diagnosed late, and ii) a group with joint laxity which is responsible for a high proportion of neonatal cases.
3. Evidence is presented to show that acetabular dysplasia is a separate heritable system in some families.
4. Other findings relating to the genetic aspects of the survey are summarised.