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Duke Orthopaedics
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Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics

Barlow's Test


- See:
      - Congenital Hip Dislocation
      - Ortolani's test

- Discussion:
    - Barlow's test identifies unstable hip that lies in the reduced position but can be passively dislocated (and hence unstable);
    - less than 2% of infants will have a positive Barlow test;
           - 60% will normalize w/ no treatment after 1 month;
           - 88% will normalize w/ no treatment after 2 months;

- Technique:
      - hip is flexed, & thigh adducted, while pushing posteriorly in line of the shaft of femur, causing femoral head to dislocate posteriorly from acetabulum;
    - dislocation is palpable as femoral head slips out of acetabulum;
    - diagnosis is confirmed with Ortolani's test;

- Management:
    - w/ a positive test, dynamic positioning is generally required w/ a Pavlik harness to ensure that hip does not dislocate


Untreated congenital hip dysplasia in the Navajo.

Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Congenital Dislocation of the Hip.



Original Text by Clifford R. Wheeless, III, MD.

Last updated by Data Trace Staff on Thursday, August 9, 2012 3:37 pm