As a developmental deformation, developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) or congenital hip dislocation (CHD) affect the formation of ball and joint sockets of the heaps. It occurs when a child is born with unstable heaps. DDH may occur due to a number of causes. Some studies suggest the developmental deformation is congenital, whereas others suggest a baby can acquire DDH due to use of restrictive transportation methods like baby seats and carriers. If DDH is not treated in early stages, it may lead to stiff joints, hip pain, and limp development. Hence, the parents need to diagnose CHD without any delay and start treatment early to make the child move his hips smoothly.
A skilled orthopaedic surgeon can diagnose DDH by examining the child’s hip joints. Some orthopaedic even diagnose DDH within 72 hours of the child’s birth. They further diagnose the deformation again when the baby is six to eight weeks old. While diagnosing DDH, the doctors manipulate the baby’s hip joints gently to check if he experiences any discomfort. They further recommend ultrasound if the child’s hip feel unstable, the child was born premature, the child was born breech position, or the family has a history of hip problems. The ultrasound is performed within a few weeks from the physical examination.
After diagnosing DDH, the orthopaedic decide the best treatment according to the child’s age. If the baby is younger than six months, they fit harness to press the hip joints properly into sockets. The child needs to wear the harness consistently for 6 to weeks according to severity of the deformation and his age. The harness must not be removed by any person other than the health professionals. The orthopaedic even assess the progress and adjust the harness accordingly. The health professionals even help parents to look after the baby properly while he is in a harness.
The orthopaedic perform surgery if DDH is diagnosed when the child is six months old. They also treat DDH surgically if the initial treatment with harness fails. The surgery is performed with general anaesthesia. The doctors use a common surgical technique called reduction. Based on severity of the condition, a doctor may perform either open reduction or close reduction.
Close reduction enables doctors to place balls in the socket without any large cuts. But open reduction require them to place the balls in the socket by making a large cut in the groin. Once the surgery is over, the child’s hips and legs will remain in casts for about 12 weeks. The orthopaedic even monitor the child’s hip regularly to ensure its stability. Hence, the orthopaedic surgeons always diagnose and treat DDH according to the child’s age and severity of DDH.