Case Study: Dislocated Hip Not Diagnosed

Compensation: £300,000

Helen, Coventry

Helen was her mother’s first child and she was born by caesarean section because she was in the breech position. There was a reduced amount of fluid surrounding her in the uterus and this, together with a breech presentation, is known to be associated with congenital dislocation of the hip (now known as developmental dysplasia of the hip or DDH)

Discovery of a dislocated hip

The baby’s hips were examined soon after birth, as is standard practice, and they were recorded as being normal. At the routine six-week check, Helen’s hips were again examined and found to be normal. She was seen again by the same clinic doctor at aged eight months, but her hips were not examined on this occasion because (it was claimed) her mother said that she could bear weight on her legs.

When Helen was 17 months old, her mother took her to the GP because she was walking oddly. It was discovered that one leg was shorter than the other and that movement in the left hip was restricted. It was clear that she had a dislocated hip.

Hip re-positioning operation

Soon after this, she had an operation to reposition the hip and was placed in a hip spica. After three months the spica was removed, but the hip dislocated again and over the next four years Helen underwent five operations on her hip in an attempt to stabilise it. She now has chronic pain and stiffness in the hip with restricted mobility and walks with a limp. She had always wanted to be a nurse, but this will be impossible because of her disability, and she may well require a hip replacement in her early 20s.

Our approach to the case

Olivia Scates, a partner in JMW’s specialist clinical negligence team, took on Helen’s case and it was alleged that had the clinic doctor examined Helen’s hips at aged eight months, her DDH would have been discovered and treatment would have been started before further damage to the hip occurred. This would have resulted in a better outcome and the discomfort and disability Helen now suffers would have been avoided.


Olivia was successful in obtaining £300,000 in compensation for Helen.

Have you and your family also suffered in a similar way?

If your child developed developmental dysplasia of the hip due to the negligent care of medical professionals, we can help you to claim compensation. For further details talk to our team now on 0345 872 6666 or enter your details into our contact form and someone will be in touch soon.

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