Hip ultrasound for babies

Leaflet number: 147
Review due date: January 2018

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What is an ultrasound scan?

Ultrasound scanning is one of the quickest and safest ways we have of examining the body and uses sound waves. The reflections or echoes of sound from inside the body are used to build up a picture of the body on a computer screen.

Why is it needed?

A hip scan is performed to check that your baby’s hip joints are developing healthily.

What will happen?

You will be taken into the ultrasound room and asked to partly undress your baby and remove their nappy (so please bring a spare nappy to the appointment). You are encouraged to stay with your baby during the scan. Your baby will need to lie on their side in a specially designed cradle to take the pictures. Some gel will be placed on each hip in turn. The head of the scanner is placed on the skin and moved over the surface to study the hip joint below. The scan is painless, although baby may feel some pressure as the scan head is applied to get a better view. After the examination, which usually lasts about 10 –15 minutes, the gel can be wiped off the skin and baby can be dressed.

Are there any risks?

Ultrasound is one of the safest ways we have of examining the body. Ultrasound has not been shown to have any harmful side effects in medical use.

What special preparations are needed?

We suggest that you give baby a feed just before the scan to make him/her more relaxed. You might find it helpful to arrive a little before your appointment to do this.

What about my baby’s general health?

There are no medical conditions that prevent us doing an ultrasound. However, if your baby has a medical condition that makes the preparation for the scan difficult for you, then please contact your GP for advice.

Follow up

The sonographer will discuss the scan findings with you at the time of the examination. Sometimes follow up scans or clinical appointments are needed, and if this is the case we will let you know at the time.

Further information

If you have any concerns or questions about your baby’s hip ultrasound, please contact the X–ray/Scans Department on 01271 370217, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.


Posted in Paediatrics (Children's Health), Patient Information Leaflets, X-ray/scan and tagged , .

Last updated: October 14, 2019