$500,000 Settlement for Late Diagnosis of Developmental Hip Dysplasia (DDH)

A newborn girl was born with a congenital dysplasia of the left hip, which progressed into a complete dislocation by 27 months of age after her pediatrician failed to detect the abnormality. It wasn’t until the family brought to the physician’s attention a leg length discrepancy, that a referral to a pediatric orthopedist was made. Had the pediatrician appropriately performed certain tests, known as the Ortolani and Barlow maneuvers, he would have discovered the dysplasia (DDH) at an earlier time, which would have led to either use of a Pavlik harness or hip casting without surgery to treat the condition. In most cases, with this type of treatment, the child is left with a favorable prognosis. However, in cases of delayed diagnosis and treatment open reduction surgery may be required. The 7½ year-old girl in this case did require an open reduction surgery, and while she enjoys normal function now, she is at a higher risk for premature arthritis in the future. Blume Donnelly, partner, Michael Zerres, obtained the settlement on behalf of the girl and her family.