Developing a test to identify hip abnormalities in newborns, and prevent early-onset osteoarthritis

Disease - Osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, hip pain

Lead applicant - Mr Daniel Perry

Organisation - University of Liverpool

Type of grant - Translation

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £99,994.06

Start date - 1 April 2017

Reference - 21499

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that affects your joints, where the surfaces within your joints become damaged so the joint doesn't move as smoothly as it should. The most commonly identified cause of osteoarthritis in patients under 60 years old is a condition called developmental dysplasia of the hip, where the hip doesn't develop properly from birth. However, if diagnosed early, this condition is easily treatable and can therefore prevent osteoarthritis from developing later in life. The SHINE study: Screening The Hips In NEwborns aims to develop an acoustic test to detect developmental dysplasia of the hip in newborn babies.

Why is this research important?

Many babies are born with poorly developed hips, which can be easily treated if detected at an early stage. Developmental dysplasia of the hip is currently detected by clinical examination and selective ultrasound, but still many cases go undetected, meaning that these babies are more susceptible to developing osteoarthritis in adulthood. New developments in technology mean that sound vibrations may now be used to very sensitively and reliably detect abnormalities within joints to enable diagnosis early in life.

How will the findings benefit patients?

Osteoarthritis is a very common and painful condition, which causes a lot of cost to the NHS and society. At the moment, although research is very active in this area, there are no treatments to slow down or stop the progression of the condition apart from complete hip replacement. Increased identification of developmental dysplasia of the hip in newborns will enable early treatment and prevent osteoarthritis from developing in adulthood.