Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is one of the most common congenital defects in the newborn. When its severe form is not corrected, it is associated with long-term morbidity. Closed reduction with casting is the standard primary treatment and reduction is confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We reported our experience on the reliability of MRI in postreduction assessment of DDH.

All children who underwent closed reduction for Graf type IV DDH at our institution between September 2010 and June 2016 were retrospectively reviewed. Since 2010 we assessed postreduction position of the femoral head by performing a MRI.

Twenty-five (5 male, 20 female) patients presented with 29 (15 left sided, 6 right sided, 4 bilateral) Graf type IV DDH and underwent closed reduction at a mean age of 3.4 months. In all patients MRI studies performed within 24 hours were diagnostic, showing a concentric reduction of the femoral head within the acetabulum in 24/25 patients. In the patient with persistent hip instability, a subsequent open reduction was performed. In all the cases, there was no need of any contention or sedation during MRI.

On the basis of our experience, MRI is an excellent, safe and, reliable modality to confirm maintenance of adequate femoral head position and to evaluate soft tissue interposition. We agree that MRI is the gold standard to early depict dislocation after closed reduction of DDH.