Managers & Medicine

A Medical Research Council working party has questioned the effectiveness of the UK neonatal screening programme for congenital dislocation of the hip, which aims to identify babies with the condition who could be treated non-surgically.

After establishing a national orthopaedic surveillance scheme, the working party found that the incidence of a first operation for congenital dislocation of the hip was 0.78 per 1,000 live births. Congenital dislocation of the hip had only been detected by routine screening in 30 per cent of 318 children reported to the scheme.

The working group said that the incidence of first-time surgery to correct congenital dislocation of the hip was similar to that reported before universal screening was introduced in 1969.