Preventive Examinations: The U3 And The Ultrasound Of The Hip

Preventive examinations are not mandatory, but some are really extremely important. For example, the U3 preventive examination. The baby is examined for a deformity of the hip. Such a deformity, called hip dysplasia, can cause lifelong problems for the child and, in severe cases, require corrective surgery.

The U3: Early Detection Examination With All-round Hip Check

At best, the third screening examination takes place in the 4th to 5th week of life. However, the tolerance limit says that this early detection is also useful from the 3rd to 8th week of life. Before and also after that, the developmental stages typical for this period can no longer be observed.

At U3, as at U2 between the 3rd and 10th day of life, the general development of the child is examined. The internal and sexual organs are palpated, and the sensory organs and motor function are examined. In addition, at U3, attention is paid to bowel movements, and questions are asked about shrill or feeble cries. These can give clues to internal diseases, milk intolerance, or even just three-month colic.

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The Most Important Part Of The U3 Screening Exam: Hip Ultrasonography

As one of the most important screening examinations, the U3 promotes malpositions of the hip, one of the most central bones of the musculoskeletal system. After all, 1-3% of babies born suffers from a so-called malposition of the hip. Depending on the severity, hip dysplasia is accompanied by chronic pain, limping, and even hip joint arthrosis.

The therapy in infancy is in mild cases well tolerated by the child: he gets spreader pants. Carrying in a sling and consistent wide swaddling also counteract the deformities, which is why it is best to detect them during the ultrasound of the preventive examination. Surgery is necessary only in rare cases.

Risk Factors And Diagnosis Of Hip Dysplasia At The U3 Screening Examination

Girls are six times more likely to suffer from hip dysplasia than boys. Nevertheless, boys should also go for sonography at the third screening, because heavy children are also far more likely to have hip deformities. Intrauterine lack of space is also considered a risk factor, for example in the case of amniotic fluid deficiency or multiple pregnancies. In the prone position, an asymmetry of the buttock folds is noticeable in the baby. However, only the ultrasound examination at U3 can provide certainty. This is what makes the third screening so important.

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