Week 3 – Is Hip Dysplasia Painful?


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We have now passed the THREE week mark in the SPICA cast. Three weeks down, Nine to go.

A burning question on my mind has to with pain. Everything I have read about hip dysplasia (and I’ve read a lot) is that it’s NOT painful. The two very highly respected doctors we’ve seen both told us that there’s no pain associated with DDH. Everything online suggests that as well.

But, I don’t understand how that can be. Sara’s left hip was completely dislocated, so much so that it was forming its own secondary socket in her pelvis. The xray clearly shows that! How can that NOT hurt?

A few days after Sara’s hip surgery, another mom asked this same question on the hip-baby yahoo group we belong to. She said, her own daughter’s demeanor had changed so much for the positive after her daughter’s surgery that she wondered if anyone else has experienced anything similar. Numerous people replied that their own children seemed happier post surgery, too. I was mildly surprised as a lot of the people who replied had children who had previously been mobile but were now stuck in a spica cast. How can going from mobile to not even being able to sit up on your own not make a person mad?? Or at the very least, frustrated beyond belief?

But now that we are three weeks into our own spica cast journey, I feel compelled to add my own two cents! 😉

Sara also seems happier!! I don’t know what I can really attribute her happiness to – constant attention? Being carried around everywhere and fawned over? Getting pretty much everything she wants? (We’re so gonna pay when this is all over…) Almost always sitting on someone’s lap? Her age? Or, could it be that her hip is (hopefully) securely back where it belongs?

I don’t know. But I do know that my previously solemn baby girl is now laughing, talking, pointing, clapping, dancing with her one free foot, playing peek-a-boo, and army crawling too!! And I really like to see her happy because NINE more weeks with the spica cast still seem like an eternity to me! But the first three have flown by.

So here’s to time flying by for nine more weeks (That’s Valentine’s Day if 9 weeks doesn’t sound like a long time to you)!!!

If you have experienced hip dysplasia with your own child, what’s your two cents worth? Painful? or NOT painful?


About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. I haven’t any experience with hip dysplasia of course, but I wonder if it wasn’t so much pain as a nagging general discomfort.

    I have TMJ disorder but it isn’t severe. Basically I’ve had a nagging general discomfort in my jaw for 25 yrs. There’s been a few times where someone has asked me if there was something going on that I seem … I guess solemn is a good word for it. I thought about it and I think the general discomfort has played a big part of that.

    I think if she had been in constant pain, you’d have known. But I think even as babies, they sense when something isn’t right and a constant general discomfort will play a huge part in their demeanor.

  2. Hi, our 16 month old daughter has just been diagnosed with DDH too (right hip). We are currently waiting to see a paediatric orthopod so we don’t know what surgery will be needed yet – though I was quite alarmed by her x-ray. I just wanted to say thank you for posting this as I have nightmares of her feeling unhappy in her cast and it is lovely to think she might not. Very best wishes for Sara’s recovery. x

  3. I forgot to add my thoughts on pain… Roberta is quite quiet – but mostly seems very happy. Until we found out about the DDH I did not think she was in pain. However, since we found out (last week) there have been times when she has grumbled and I’ve wondered if her hip is uncomfortable. Could be mum paranioa though – – so it’s hard to tell.