DDH: Alex's story
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) describes a variety of conditions in which the ball and socket of the hip do not develop properly. iVillager cl-Hayleyem describes her daughter's journey
How soon after birth was Alex diagnosed with DDH?
Alex's initial hip check-up, done the day after she was born, was fine, but as she was breech she had a routine scan at seven weeks. All breech babies in my PCT get an ultrasound.
How was it found?
By ultrasound scan; at her eight-week check-up with the GP. She checked her hips and said they were very clicky and got another doctor in to listen and our GP said they were the worst she'd seen/heard in a long time.
Was she in obvious pain?
Not at all, the only sign that anything was wrong were the uneven creases on her thighs.
After the diagnosis, what happened?
We got an appointment at the hosptial a week later. At the appointment the paediatrician agreed her hips needed treatment, but he did not treat babies so he referred us to his friend in Durham (about 40 minutes away). The nurse in Darlington told us Alex would probably have to wear a Pavlik Harness (pictured above) and showed us it. It looked horrific.
We had another ultrasound in Durham and the consultant agreed she had DDH, and needed a harness, which manipulates the hip into the socket. The harness is quite common, another baby on the February 06 board had one too.
After six weeks, we had a check-up and it looked good. Then after 11 weeks, the consultant agreed to take off the harness. The hip was not quite stable, but it was getting there, so he decided that it would be better for all of us to remove the harness.
We went back for a check up on the 30th August, all was well. Then, we went back in September and, as Alex was over six months, he decided to x-ray her rather than scan her. We'd always been aware plaster could happen, but never thought it actually would. Then the consultant said that he'd like to put her into a spica cast (pictured on next page). The operation was on 26th October and Alex was eight months old. He told us to expect her to be in plaster for eight months.