Hip ultrasound is a safe, non-invasive and painless method that is performed on babies to detect various local abnormalities. The most common affection detected with its help is the developmental dysplasia of the hip in babies. Find out what baby ultrasound involves and how old you can be!
Why resort to hip ultrasound in babies?
When doctors suspect hip developmental dysplasia, they turn to ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. Hip developmental dysplasia is an anomaly that is characterized by an abnormal position of the femoral head in the hip joint. This can occur in the baby before, during or even a few weeks after birth. In very severe cases, the dislocation of the femoral head from the hip joint may occur.
The risk factors that can lead to this anomaly are:
• pregnancy with oligohydramnios;
• abnormal position of the fetus in the uterus (pelvic presentation);
• babies with family history of hip developmental dysplasia.
If the baby presents an increased risk of developing this type of dysplasia then hip ultrasound is mandatory after birth. Also, you should know that this condition occurs more often in girls than in boys, and usually the first born are at higher risk. The doctor may also recommend performing ultrasound in other situations than suspected hip dysplasia:
• abnormalities of the hip at birth, due to the inability to move the thigh as far as possible, at the level of the hip;
• the appearance of a click ("click") that the doctor hears or feels when doing a routine check of the baby and trying to move the thigh out;
• when differences in the length or appearance of the child's legs appear.
At what age can this type of ultrasound be made?
Ultrasound examination can be done to children even 4-6 weeks after birth. Most doctors even recommend making it to all children of this age in order to observe any abnormalities of development of the hip joint. The hip ultrasound can only be done accurately until the age of 6, maximum 8 months. Starting with this age the femoral head becomes ossified, and ultrasound penetration will be impossible.
How is hip ultrasound done in infants?
During the ultrasound you can accompany the child in the examination room. It is partially undressed and his diaper is removed. He is sitting on the back table or on the side. The doctor will apply a special, colorless gel on the hip, which helps to propagate the sound waves, but also to prevent the penetration of air between the ultrasound probe and the baby's skin. Special ultrasound equipment is used during the examination. It sends sound waves in the hip area, transposing them into images on a computer screen. The captured black-and-white images highlight both the internal structure of the bones (the hip), the femoral head, and other features of the area.
Hip ultrasound is not a painful procedure. At most, the baby may feel a slight pressure when the probe is moved on the skin and a cold sensation from the gel applied. Babies may start crying when they are in the consultation room, especially if they are kept motionless for accurate results. But his reactions are not related to the procedure itself. That's why some doctors recommend feeding your baby before an ultrasound scan because this might help him stay more relaxed and not cry.
Also, always try to talk to him and sing or see your face. These things could calm him and relax. A radiologist will interpret the results of the ultrasound and transmit them to the pediatrician. These could be ready in maximum 2 days. In most cases, the results require interpretation and cannot be given on the spot. There are no risks associated with ultrasound. Unlike other tests that use X-rays, radiation is not involved in ultrasound.
Tags Baby Development Baby Development Baby Feet Baby Feet