Think About It Thursday- Hip Dysplasia

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My five year old, Dylon, was recently diagnosed with Bilateral Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips. He has to be monitored for the next two years and if his hips don’t “fix themselves” (I’m a little skeptical about that statement) he will require surgery.In this “installment” of Think About It Thursday I’ll fill you in on what Hip Dysplasia is, it’s causes, diagnosis, treatment and some resources for those with Dysplasia.

Hip Dysplasia is a condition in which one or both hips are unstable, loose or dislocated. There are different terms that a doctor may use depending on the severity and time of development.

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Different levels of Hip Dysplasia from left to right: Normal, Subluxation, Low Dislocation, High Dislocation

Although Hip Dysplasia is often diagnosed at routine newborn/infant screenings, it is not always discovered that early on. Many parents (like myself) do not recognize the symptoms which may include:

Swayback is one of many possible signs of hip dysplasia

Note the strong curve in the back.

*Asymmetry- asymmetrical thigh creases may indicate DDH.
*Hip Click
*Limited range of motion
*Pain
*Swayback

What causes is Hip Dysplasia exactly is unknown but it is speculated that improper swaddling techniques and forward facing baby carriers that position the baby’s hips in an unnatural position are contributing factors. As is heredity and development.

If you suspect that your child may have Hip Dysplasia a trip to an Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon would be your next move. He/She can diagnose Hip Dysplasia through a physical examination, ultrasound or X-Ray. If test results show your child has Hip Dysplasia, there are a few methods for treating hip Dysplasia such as:
*Pavlik Harness(pictured)
*Open reduction
*Closed reduction

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Pavlik Harness

Dylons’ dysplasia is bilateral meaning that both hips are affected. We originally took him into the doctor because his hips popped and clicked and done so since birth. He was always a very fussy baby and would rub his feet together when he was upset. The orthopedic surgeon gave him a physical examination and a X-Ray. When he looked at the X-ray he said that the popping was not Dylons’ main issue. Instantly my heart sank and I asked what was. He told us about the dysplasia and about the monitoring and surgery. This was quite a surprising diagnosis for me because he was always so active, but now looking back I can see a lot of indicators. He would always complain of leg and knee pain after heavy play, which I always connected as growing pains.

When we got home, I instantly began Googling (a worried moms worst enemy) and found some great information and resources. A great and informative website is The International Hip Dysplasia Institute, they have a wealth of information, resources and support groups for parents or those who are interested in helping.  I also discovered that Larry the Cable Guy has a charity in which he raises funds for various causes including Hip Dysplasia called The Git-R-Done Foundation . There is also a fantastic book out for kids called Hope the Hippo.

Thank you for reading and I will definitely be keeping you all up to date on his journey as we take it. 🙂

Source: The International Hip Dysplasia Institute

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2 thoughts on “Think About It Thursday- Hip Dysplasia

  1. My prayers are for your son’s condition to fix itself, but having had surgery for hip dysplasia later in life I would have given anything to be diagnosed and treated earlier in life. My high school sports career and a good portion of my college years were affected by the dysplasia and it was only found after moderate arthritis had already set in. Surgery is hard at any age, but from someone with a little experience, the sooner the better. So happy to hear that your doctor diagnosed the dysplasia, many have a hard time when they aren’t looking at an infant. Best wishes.

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