New research aims to shed light on whether a common hip deformity in
newborn babies can play a part in the development of osteoarthritis of
the hip in later life.
A team of researchers at the University
College London Institute of Child Health at Great Ormond Street Hospital
for Children have been awarded a three-year £185,000 grant from the
Arthritis Research Campaign to examine the effects of hip dysplasia in
babies on the onset of osteoarthritis of the hip, which affects one in
ten people over the age of 65.
Hip dysplasia is the most common
musculoskeletal disorder in infancy, and occurs when a baby is born with
a shallow or deformed hip socket, enabling the ball of hip to slip out,
often resulting in the need for a plaster cast.
congenital hip dysplasia and childhood growth may all play a role in the
development of osteoarthritis of the hip, but the contribution of hip
dysplasia remains unclear as this diagnosis is difficult to ascertain on
x-ray when there is additional degenerative change, as in
osteoarthritis,” explained Professor Karen Rosendahl, a consultant in
the department of imaging at GOSH, who is running the study with
colleague Professor Carol Dezateux.
The GOSH team is analysing
data from a group of 5,000 Norwegian adolescents who have been followed
from birth, and half of whom had a hip ultrasound assessment as babies.
Follow-up clinical and radiological data on those diagnosed with hip
dysplasia have been collected over the years.
The team will
measure hip shape by x-ray, height and weight, and assess hip symptoms,
and hip and joint mobility. “We will assess the association of x-ray
features of osteoarthritis at 18 and 19 and hip dysplasia at birth, as
well as childhood size and growth,” explained Professor Rosendahl. “The
results will increase our understanding of the implications of childhood
abnormalities of newborn hip shape for future hip health.”
long-term research examining the hips of the Norwegian cohort between
the ages of 40 and 60, and how many of them require hip replacement, is
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