Etymology: Marius Ortolani; L, testum, crucible
a procedure used to evaluate the stability of the hip joints in newborns and infants. The baby is placed on his or her back, and the hips and knees are flexed at right angles and abducted until the lateral aspects of the knees are touching the table. The examiner's fingers are extended along the outside of the thighs, with the thumbs grasping the insides of the knees. Internal and external rotation are attempted, and symmetry of mobility is evaluated. A click or a popping sensation (Ortolani's sign) may be felt if the joint is unstable, caused by the head of the femur moving out of the acetabulum under pressure from the examiner's hands during rotation and abduction. See also congenital dislocation of the hip.