Hip Dysplasia

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Hip Dysplasia--not doing surgery or brace

Dec 2007

My 13 month old might have hip dysplasia and her pediatrician recommends an x-ray, which I'm reluctant about. Does anyone have experience with alternative therapies (chiropractic, feldenkreis, etc.) for hip dysplasia? Rachel

Did the orthopedist recommend a brace for your child's hip dysplasia? What treatment did s/he recommend? If bracing was recommended (I'd think it's too early for surgery, as many kids outgrow hip dysplasia), why do you reject that? You do not want to mess around with developmental orthopedic or bone-related issues because a permanent disfiguring and handicapping problem can be prevented in the early stages, while a child's bones and body are soft and small and still growing.

Developmental orthopedic problems must be treated within a certain early time frame in the child's growth to prevent permanent disability and deformity. You could be accused of child neglect if you do not have your child treated appropriately. This is not the same kind of issue as, say, whether or not to give eye ointment at birth, or even vaccination of children. This is much more serious with permanent, lasting consequences your child will have to live with the rest of his/her life.

I had a developmental orthopedic deformity that was neglected and not treated when I was young (idiopathic scoliosis) and by the time a competent surgeon got ahold of me it was too late. I had a severe, permanent disfigurement that will always remain, was/is life threatening and stigmatizing. Deformed people aren't exactly loved. It has negatively impacted my health, my body image, my ability to find a relationship. If my parents had have neglected me in this day and time, instead of the unenlightened 1960s, they would have been charged with child neglect.

Please reconsider your position for your child's sake and don't push your anti- western medicine, or whatever is motivating your avoidance of sound medical advice, on your child. anonymous RN

I unfortunately didn't see your original post so I'm not sure what your reason was for avoiding surgery or a brace. I had hip dysplasia when I was a baby and my parents had to put a brace on me for the first year or so. I think I only had to keep it on when I was sleeping. I certainly don't remember it nor have I had any hip problems since then. I guess it was a little bit of a hassle for my parents to have to deal with but it is a lot better than having your child grow up with hip problems. I have a one and a half year old son and when he was born I was concerned he would have hip dysplasia too. It turns out he didn't, but if he had I would have certainly have followed my doctor's advice and gotten him surgery or a brace. mother who is glad she doesn't walk with a limp

Hip Dysplasia is 16-month-old

April 2006

Are there any parents of ''hip babies'' out there? My 16 month old daughter has been in a hip brace since she was 4 months old. Her left hip is now totally perfect. Her right hip is not improving. We're possibly looking at a pelvic osteotomy when she's 2. Anyone have any experience with this or with hip dysplasia in general? I know of the hip-baby.org site, and to be honest, it petrifies me. We see Dr. Townsend at the Union City Kaiser, and we're not entirely pleased with him.

my daughter was diagnosed with hip displasia hours after she was born. she ended up having to wear a rhino brace for the first 4 months of her life, and was checked again around her first and second birthdays. she has another appointment scheduled close to her 3rd birthday. while i don't necessarily have specific advice i do want to recommend a second opinion from our doctor, scott hoffinger. he is an orthopedic specialist at children's hospital and from what i know, is one of the best in his field. he has recommend waiting to do surgery on our daughter as he has told us that it still has the potential to self-correct up to 4 yrs. old. so we are waiting to see if it will correct itself on its own without the surgery. i would be happy to talk to you further if you have additional questions.
Our daughter, now 3, has/had hip dysplasia in one hip. In her case, her specialists seem to think it was not congenital and that the hip joint slipped out about the time she was one. Because of that, she never went the brace route. When she was 20 months old, she had a pelvic osteotomy which was successful. The surgery is complicated and not an easy one for your child (or for parents!). But now, I'm happy and relieved to say, a year and a half later, the ball and joint are positioned perfectly and growing properly. And if you saw my daughter at the park now, you'd have no idea that she had been through any of this - she can run, jump, and climb just like any 3 year old. So have hope! I would recommend you see Dr. Scott Hoffinger at Oakland Children's Hospital or Dr. Mohammad Diab at UCSF. Both are excellent and the two best hip dysplasia surgeons/specialists in the Bay Area. We ended up going with Dr. Hoffinger - he and his staff are top notch and Children's is great. All the best to you and your daughter. Hip Dysplasia Mom

Newborn diagnosed with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

May 2002

Does anyone have expereince with a newborn diagnosed with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)? With the harnesses and the anxiety about managing a baby with this condition we would love to speak with a parent who has gone through this recently. Thank you.

My cousin's baby, a girl who was breech and delivered by cesarean, had hip dysplasia. It's apparently common in breech females. She wore the harness for several months, which was a source of anxiety to the parents, because it made it harder to dress her, and she didn't like it, etc. All those cute newborn-size clothes gone to waste, too! But after the four months were up, it was over and forgotten. She's three now and has absolutely no signs of problems. Good luck, don't worry. VM
I haven't had a baby with hip dysplasia so I can't really share your fears but thought my experience might be of some help to you. At age 47 I recently saw an orthopedist for my progressively 'achey' hip. An X-ray showed that I have hip dysplasia and the orthopedist said that it is a congenital defect. I have two teenagers and have learned over the years that the more clear you are about things the less anxiety you will feel. Take consolation in the fact that you are doing what you have to do for your child's wellbeing. I know the harnesses are often quite successful and will save your child lots of future trouble! Concentrate on the love and try to let go of the anxiety. (easier said than done, of course...) Anonymous
Our daughter, now 13 mos. old, was breech, and was diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia by an ultrasound the day after she was born. We were referred to Scott Hoffinger at Children's Hospital. The ultrasound seemed to indicate shallow hip sockets, although neither the pediatrician nor the orthopedist could dislocate her hips. She was fitted with a brace (the ''Rhino Cruiser''!) which she wore for about 12 weeks, first full-time, then only when sleeping. At first it made the diaper changes that much more of a hassle, but we soon got used to it. Our daughter's condition was followed first by ultrasound, then by X-ray, until she was about 7 mos. old. She seems to be doing fine now, but we'll have another X-ray in another 6 mos. We're glad that she was in the brace early, before she was mobile, so it didn't impact her as much. Our pediatrician says that hip dysplasia can be pretty common in girls, esp. breech girls. Good luck! Lianna