This study aimed to determine whether abnormal apoptosis is present in acetabular cartilage in early developmental dislocations of the hip (DDH), and if so, whether it is correlated with the expression of caspase-3 and Bcl-2. DDH was induced in 24 4-week-old New Zealand white rabbits. Acetabular cartilage specimens from the experimental and control groups were stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E). Animals from the experimental group developed acetabular dysplasia. Apoptotic chondrocytes were observed by ultrastructural electron microscopy and H&E.