Guest Post by: Jamie

The past month has been a whirlwind of emotions in our household.  My youngest son was a late walker-16 months and a few days. He has the cutest little toddler walk; he looks like he’s just got a bounce to his step.

That bounce, however, is caused by a difference in leg length, which is a result of his hips not being in the proper position. From what we can tell my little bug has DDH (Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips). He has subluxation in his left hip, meaning it is not fully in the socket. His sockets are flat instead of well rounded and the angle of his femoral head (part of the thigh bone that sits in the joint) is off by about 40 degrees.



When your baby is born, the doctor or nurse often does a check of your child’s hips and then they check again at 6 weeks of age.  The medical professional is supposed to do this check at every baby well check up until they are walking securely. My son fell through the cracks. The hip issue was completely missed.

 

When we brought the issue to the attention of our Pediatrician, he said quietly, “I guess I never checked him over thoroughly.” This was so disappointing since we had mentioned our son was not walking at his 15-month check up. Because of my son’s age, he will have to have open hip surgery. If DDH is caught before 6 months, the child can be put in a brace.


From 6 months to 17 months they can do a procedure called a Closed Hip Reduction, moving the hip back into place physically and then casting. However, because my son is over 18 months old, and given his condition, we are most likely looking at hip surgery. His femur bone will be cut and an artificial angle into the hip socket will be created using hardware. They may also shave/cut off a few centimeters of his left femur so it will not appear to be longer.

 

I’d like to pass on what information I have about early detection, so that maybe someone else will be able to catch this issue in their child sooner than we have.
 

 Signs of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips

  • hips that are resistant to opening, usually noticed during diaper changes
  • hearing or feeling a ‘click’ in the hips
  • uneven creases in the buttocks and/or thighs
  • difference in leg length
  • limp when walking
  • knees do not line up (place your child flat on back, both feet flat against butt, check if knees align

First-born babies, females, and babies born in the breech position have a higher risk than those who don’t fit in those categories. However, my son  did not fit into any of those!

Please pass this on to anyone you know. Perhaps the grandma that reads this will tell her friend who will happen to notice the cute little bounce in her grandchild’s step. Maybe your best friend will notice the creases in her daughter’s legs, which were just thought of as cute little chubby rolls, and ask her child’s doctor to take a look.


For more information on developmental dysplasia of the hips:

 
 

***Note: Please talk to your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns regarding DDH. This article is not official medical advice.
 
Toddler holding onto fence trying to walk. Text reads when your child has developmental dysplasia of the hips.
One mom shares her experiences with a child diagnosed with hip dysplasia. She hopes to help other moms notice the early signs.

 

Jamie is a reader of this blog, a mom of two boys, and is eager to share this information with other mothers so they can be informed and proactive regarding their child’s health and well-being. 


 

 
 
 

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