DDH Signs & Symptoms

DDH. What it is, and what to look out for!


'The causes aren't fully known,

it is developmental and not always present at birth'


Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is difficult to detect. Early diagnosis yields the most favourable outcome. It is referred to as a silent condition; there may be no obvious signs or symptoms. The following flyer lists some potential indicators of DDH, the most commonly used term for hip dysplasia in children, to look out for. Please note the presence of these does not mean your child has DDH. Further evaluation with your GP or a child/maternal health nurse is recommended.


What is hip dysplasia?


The hip joint is made up of a ball and socket; the femoral head of the thigh bone (femur) is the ball and the acetabulum of the pelvis is the socket. Loose ligaments around the joint can allow for misalignment of varying degrees to occur. The hip joint is classified as displaced when the ball and socket do not fit together in their 'normal' position. Sometimes this is due to abnormal development and/or lack of growth.

Other names for hip dysplasia - 

  • Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH)
  • Infant hip dysplasia
  • Clicky hips
  • Hip dislocation
  • Developmental hip dislocation
  • Acetabular dysplasia
  • Congenital hip dysplasia


Further information:

Safe swaddling guidelines for healthy hip development

Hip dysplasia overview

Hip dysplasia in teenagers & adults

Hip dysplasia diagnosis

Hip dysplasia treatment

Written: May 2015. Revised April 2017.


This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. Every effort is made to ensure this information is up to date, accurate and easy to understand. Healthy Hips Australia accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading. This can be reproduce with acknowledgement to Healthy Hips Australia. Handouts are available to download free of charge at www.healthyhipsaustralia.org.au