The early diagnosis of congenital dislocation of the hip is not difficult, even in the hands of physicians inexperienced in orthopedic surgery. It is true that in the normally adipose child it is rather difficult to palpate the femoral head, whether it is dislocated or not. On the other hand, there are several signs that should suggest some abnormality about the hip joint and warrant a roentgen examination. After a roentgen examination has been made there should be no question whatever concerning the diagnosis.
In discussing the early diagnosis of dislocation of the hip, the etiologic factors must be considered first. Of the many hypothetic explanations as to why a hip should be dislocated at the time of birth, none seem entirely satisfactory. Excluding the factor of trauma, because of the frequent existence of the deformity in children born of multiparas following normal delivery, an anatomic explanation must be found.