We report the six-year results of a prospective, controlled demographic trial of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) treated in the Pavlik harness using ultrasound supervision. Our aim was to assess the value of ultrasound and its role in monitoring reduction in the harness, in terms of progression or failure of reduction at an early state.
From 1988 to 1994, a total of 221 patients with 370 ultrasonographically abnormal hips was treated in the Pavlik harness. This represents a treatment rate for the Southampton district of 5.1 per 1000 live births. Sixteen hips in 12 patients were not reduced in the harness and required surgical treatment; 95.7% were successfully reduced. One case of mild avascular necrosis (0.3%) was identified in those treated by harness alone. Of the 221 patients 87.8% remain under radiological review, with 3.2% of affected hips showing continued, mild acetabular dysplasia.
We conclude that ultrasound monitoring has led to an acceptably low level of intervention, a high reduction rate and minimal iatrogenic complications. The trial is continuing.
- Received February 10, 1997.
- Accepted April 28, 1997.
- © 1997 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery