The signs and symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in toddlers DDH


As you might know, some children do not get diagnosed with their hip problems until they become dislocated when they are 22 months old. It appears as late hip dysplasia and will mean a more invasive treatment and could mean a less than successful outcome for the child. Learning that your child has this condition is always frightening, and they might have to endure years of treatment that could have been avoided if identified at birth. If you are suspicious, your child might have hip problems drop by Emergency Care in Temple today and visit our Emergency Clinic in Temple, TX.

Some statistics show for every 1-2 children out of every 1000 that there is a hip dislocation which will require treatment. If your child is diagnosed fast, the initial treatment will usually be a Pavlik harness for them to wear night and day for several weeks. If you should miss this “window of chance” the treatment will probably wind up involving surgery with your child living in a spica cast which will immobilize the hip or thigh for several months. To avoid this possibility for your little one, know these symptoms:

  • There will be an extra deep crease show up on the inside of your child’s thigh
  • One leg will appear shorter than the other
  • The knee might appear to face outwards, and one of the joints moves differently from the other
  • When you change your baby’s pajamas, one leg does not want to move in an outward direction as wide as the other one does
  • When your child is usually crawling one leg will drag.

After they start walking, you may notice that:

  • Your child is walking with a limp (maybe has a waddling gait if both hips are affected).
  • When your child walks or stands with one foot on their tiptoes and the heel up off the floor. The child is compensating for the difference in their leg length.

For the children who are discovered to be affected by hip dysplasia in their first six weeks of life, the most common treatment is with the Pavlik harness and usually successful more than 90% of the time. With the successful treatments, the child’s hips will develop normally, and there will be no long-term issues that you should be worried.

For any child that is diagnosed with hip dysplasia later in their infancy, treatment will be more complicated and prolonged, but you should expect good results with a normal hip.

After the child’s first birthday, treatment will become complicated, and the outcome will be more guarded. Multiple surgeries should not be ruled out, and it may not bear good results.

If the hip is never treated a limp will develop, which during childhood is not painful. But in early adult life arthritis starts to form, and pain will begin setting in. When the pain is severe, it will require joint replacement.

If your child exhibits any of the symptoms described above, parents should demand an x-ray. If you, as a parent, should suspect there might be a problem with their hips or mobility get informed and keep pushing for the x-ray so everyone will know. Emergency Care in Temple, TX is here to help put your mind at ease or to confirm what you wanted to know.

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