When BB and I first met the man who was to gently cut open her skin and surgically correct her hip, it was the first time that I really felt the sting of being caught ‘late’ with Hip Dysplasia.
He explained that in his hospital she would have had an ultrasound at birth, we would have had a stronger change of her left hip being caught within a week of being born.
The treatment would have been far different.
One in twenty babies are born with weak hips, these are the ones that in my opinion, should not go in baby carriers that don’t support baby at the hip – allowing the frog like position to be naturally assumed. They shouldn’t be swaddled tightly to prevent free movement of the leg, they should be in a wide car seat and allowed to extend their legs wherever possible without any undue pressure on the joint. It you have a weak joint, it seems obvious that not giving it support will exasperate the condition.
‘Clicky hips’ has been ‘cured’ by wearing baby in a well fitting sling (that embraces the frog position) and by wearing double nappies or thick natural nappies that force the legs out and stabilise the hips. When more aggressive correction is needed at birth, it is done by a non surgical process, where baby wears a harness to keeps the hips in place.
My most recent post on baby carriers reached almost a million people, this tells me that people are interested in caring for their babies hips.
Out of those one in twenty babies, according to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, 2-3 of every 1000 infants will need treatment. Any parent with a baby who has been diagnosed with clicky hips, dislocation, and Hip Dysplasia will tell you that the sooner it is caught, the better.
To date BB has had one operation, four general anesthetics, one blood transfusion, and countless physio appointments. We still see DDH in her walk, in her limp and in her weak hip.
I am a mum to a baby who was diagnosed late, we didn’t have a ultrasound, we were never informed that her hips clicked or clunked. We were advised that her delay in sitting, crawling and walking was normal for a third child.
This is until we met the surgeon who told us it wouldn’t have happened in his hospital because of the policy on ultrasounds.
If babies were scanned at birth, less cases of DDH would be caught late and more would be be managed without surgery and without the hell of the 3 month spica cast.
My daughters’ children stand a higher risk of having Hip Dysplasia, please help them by signing this online petition to scan all babies at birth for signs of Hip Dysplasia. It is a horrific condition and we live with its legacy every day.
Take a moment, read the petition, please sign. Then share wherever you can.
BB – post surgery – still smiling