Developmental dysplasia of the hip
Babies diagnosed with DDH early in life are usually treated with a fabric splint known as a Pavlik harness. This secures both of your baby's hips in a stable position and allows them to develop normally.
The harness needs to be worn constantly for several weeks and shouldn't be removed by anyone except a health professional. The harness may be adjusted during follow-up appointments and your clinician will discuss your baby's progress with you.
Your hospital will provide detailed instructions on how to look after your baby while they're in a Pavlik harness. This will include information on:
Eventually, you maybe given advice on removing and replacing the harness for short periods of time until it can be permanently removed. You'll be encouraged to allow your baby to move freely when the harness is off and swimming is often recommended.
Surgery may be needed if your baby is diagnosed with DDH after they're six months old, or if the Pavlik harness hasn't worked. The most common surgical technique is known as reduction, which involves placing the ball of the femur back into the hip socket.
Reduction is carried out undergeneral anaesthetic and may be performed as either:
Your child will need a hip cast for at least six weeks after surgery. Their hip will need to be checked under general anaesthetic again after this time to make sure it's stable and healing well. After this investigation, a cast will probably be needed for at least another six weeks to allow the hip to fully stabilise.
Some children may also require bone surgery (osteotomy) during an open reduction, or at a later date to correct any bone deformities.
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a condition where the 'ball and socket' joint of the hips doesn't properly form in babies and young children.
Within 72 hours of giving birth, your baby's hips will be checked as part of the newborn physical examination. Another hip examination is carried out when your baby is between six and eight weeks old.
Pavlik harnessBabies diagnosed with DDH early in life are usually treated with a fabric splint known as a Pavlik harness. This secures both of your baby's hips in a stable position and allows them to
The newborn physical examination and the check at six to eight weeks aim to diagnose DDH early. However, sometimes hip problems can develop after these checks.It's important to contact your GP as soon
It's important to remember that DDH can't be prevented and it's nobody's fault. A baby's hips are naturally more flexible for a short period after birth.However, if your baby spends a lot of time tigh