Barlow maneuver

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Barlow maneuver
Medical diagnostics
Purpose screen for developmental dysplasia of hip

The Barlow maneuver is a physical examination performed on infants to screen for developmental dysplasia of the hip. It is named for Dr. Thomas Geoffrey Barlow (September 25, 1915 May 25, 1975), an English orthopedic surgeon, who devised this test. It was clinically tested during 1957–1962 at Hope Hospital, Salford, Lancashire. [1]

An infant is the more formal or specialised synonym for "baby", the very young offspring of a human. The term may also be used to refer to juveniles of other organisms.

English people Nation and ethnic group native to England

The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.

Orthopedic surgery medical specialty concerned with the human apparatus of movement

Orthopedic surgery or orthopedics, also spelled orthopaedics, is the branch of surgery concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgeons use both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors, and congenital disorders.



The maneuver is easily performed by adducting the hip (bringing the thigh towards the midline) while applying pressure on the knee, directing the force posteriorly. [2]


If the hip is dislocatable — that is, if the hip can be popped out of socket with this maneuver — the test is considered positive. The Ortolani maneuver is then used, to confirm the positive finding (i.e., that the hip actually dislocated).

See also

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Barlow may refer to:

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In medicine, physiotherapy, chiropractic, and osteopathy the hip examination, or hip exam, is undertaken when a patient has a complaint of hip pain and/or signs and/or symptoms suggestive of hip joint pathology. It is a physical examination maneuver.

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Ortolani test

The Ortolani test is part of the physical examination for developmental dysplasia of the hip, along with the Barlow maneuver. Specifically, the Ortolani test is positive when a posterior dislocation of the hip is reducible with this maneuver. This is part of the standard infant exam performed preferably in early infancy.

Ortolani may refer to:

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The Galeazzi test, also known as the Allis sign, is used to assess for hip dislocation, primarily in order to test for developmental dysplasia of the hip. It is performed by flexing an infant's knees when they are lying down so that the feet touch the surface and the ankles touch the buttocks. If the knees are not level then the test is positive, indicating a potential congenital hip malformation.

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Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

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Projectional radiography ("X-ray") is one of the two main modalities of medical imaging to diagnose hip dysplasia, the other one being medical ultrasonography.. Ultrasound imaging yields better results defining the anatomy until the cartilage is ossified. When the infant is around 3 months old a clear roentgenographic image can be achieved. Unfortunately the time the joint gives a good x-ray image is also the point at which nonsurgical treatment methods cease to give good results.


  1. Barlow TG (1962). "Early diagnosis and treatment of congenital dislocation of the hip". The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 44-B (2): 92–301.
  2. French LM, Dietz FR (July 1999). "Screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip". American Family Physician. 60 (1): 177–84, 187–8. PMID   10414637.