Hip replacement due to a congenital condition called developmental hip dysplasia can be foreseen if screening of babies for the disease is introduced.
This is according to research published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and carried out by a team led by Dr Susan Mahan, paediatric orthopaedic surgeon with Children's Hospital in Boston and instructor in orthopaedic surgery at Harvard Medical School.
Analysing over 70 trials and studies brought scientists to the conclusion that carrying out an ultrasound or physical examination of babies was an effective way of detecting hip dysplasia.
Mr Mahon commented: "We found that the best chance for avoiding early arthritis of the hip as a young adult occurs when you screen all babies with a physical clinical exam and utilise ultrasound for those who have risk factors."
He added that by catching the condition early and administering treatment at a young age, complications are less likely to set in and more invasive procedures such as a hip replacement may not become necessary.
Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip is not aligned to the hip joint correctly or is deformed.