Here’s everything you need to know about hip dysplasia in babies from a mom who has been there, done that. Hip dysplasia risk factors, hip dysplasia warning signs, hip dysplasia prevention tips. If you are a parent, you need to know this important information.
My youngest daughter was diagnosed with a dislocated left hip on August 31, 2011 when she was 15 months old and had open reduction surgery on November 1, 2011 at the University of Iowa.
What you Need to Know About Hip Dysplasia in Babies
My youngest daughter was diagnosed with a dislocated left hip on August 31, 2011 when she was 15 months old and had open reduction surgery hip surgery on November 1, 2011 at the University of Iowa. While the surgery successfully put her hip back in the socket, it did not fix her problems. She had another surgery two years that was much more involved and horrible. If you’re a parent, you need to know about hip dysplasia so you can advocate for your kiddos. The early it’s detected, the easier it is to correct.
What is Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia, DDH, developmental dysplasia of the hip is not as uncommon as you might thing. At the very basic level hip dysplasia is a medical term for general instabilityof the hip joint. According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, one in ten babies is born with a hip instability. That instability often corrects itself as the baby grows, but sometimes it does not. Some babies are born with completely dislocated hips, and some children who have normal hips at birth develop hip dysplasia as they grow.]
In our case, we don’t know if Sara was born with hip dysplasia or not. She passed the newborn exams and we didn’t really suspect anything until she started walking. It was obvious when she started walking, though, that something was wrong.
Risk Factors of Hip Dysplasia
There are several risk factors of hip dysplasia. While not every child who is diagnosed with DDH has any risk factors, your baby is more at risk of hip dysplasia in these cases:
- First born babies are more likely to have hip dysplasia
- Female babies are more likely to have hip dysplasia – about 75% of DDH cases present in baby girls.
- Breech pregnancy and/or c-section delivery
- Family history of hip dsyplaisa – particularly if mom had DDH
Sara’s case is pretty interesting. She was my fourth baby, so not at risk as a first born child. She’s obviously a girl, and we do have a family history of DDH – but it our case, her cousin has DDH, not me. Sara was also breech for a time, but she turned and we had an uneventful vaginal birth at home.
Warning Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Babies
Have you ever wondered why the pediatrician plays with your baby’s legs during examinations? That push up, push out thing they do? When they do that, they’re actually checking for hip dysplasia, specifically clicking hips or limited range of motion. Clicky hips and limited range of motion can by warning signs of hip dysplasia. But there are more signs to be aware of:
- Clicky hips
- Limited range of hip motion
- Uneven butt cheek folds
- Uneven leg lengths
- Waddling walk – see the video below of the walk that first made us aware that Sara had a problem.
Want to read more? Here’s information from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute on signs and symptoms of pediatric hip dysplaisa.
Here’s a video of Sara walking prior to surgery. We found the hip problem because she limped with she first started walking.
Hip Dysplasia Prevention Tips
While Hip Dyslplasia is not preventable in all cases, there are things you can do to minimize your child’s risk of DDH. Primarily, you can support your baby’s hips property by using hip friendly carriers and seats.
Here’s what happened the day of Sara’s surgery.
Here’s how we survived the first week in the spica cast.
Here’s how we’re diapering in the spica.
Spica Cast Cut OFF Day – Tips & Tricks
Here is information on traction, if that’s an option for you.
Helpful resources if you’re going through Hip Dysplasia or know someone who is:
Parents’ Guide to Hip Dysplasia by Betsy Miller
And here are a few blogs about DDH you may find useful:
Our Tattered Angles – DDH in Utah
Maisie’s Hippy Adventures – DDH in the UK
Lauren & Brayden’s Journey – Vancouver, BC family dealing with DDH
If you’re facing DDH and have a particular question or concern you would like me to blog about, please send me an email at [email protected]! I’d love to hear how I can help you.