Diagnosis And Treatment Of Hip Dysplasia In Infants

One of the development issues in children that pediatricians see is the hip joints not growing properly. If caught early in your child's growth, the condition can be reversed. But if it is allowed to persist, your child may have difficulty walking and standing. Here is what you need to know about hip dysplasia and how it is treated.

Abnormal Bone or Tendon Growth is the Cause

Conditions in the womb can prevent the hip joints from developing normally. The child's legs can be twisted in the womb, or during birth. This can cause a dislocation of one or both hip joints. If not noticed right away, the joint will not develop normally, making walking difficult, with pain and osteoarthritis starting in the hip at an early age.

Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia

You may notice it first when you change the baby's diaper. One hip will be higher than the other. From the back, the hips will be at different angles when compared together.

An orthopedics doctor can feel the dislocated hip joint. They'll also notice that the hips are loose in their sockets. Ultrasound tests and X-rays are done to determine the amount of dislocation in the joint and if there are abnormal bone growths in the hip preventing normal development.

Treating Hip Dysplasia

Your doctor will first use non-invasive treatments to encourage the hip to grow in a normal manner. It's important to hold the joint in the proper position so normal bone growth will occur and the hip will develop correctly.

Leg braces - Flexible and rigid braces are available to hold the legs in the correct position for hips to develop properly. Your child will need to wear the braces for several months, while the hip joints complete their development.

Closed reduction - For very loose hips, the orthopedic doctor will manipulate the hip to move it into the proper place in the pelvis. A cast may then be put on the child's upper legs and hips to hold the joint in place at the correct angle. Your child will wear this cast for several weeks.

When the hip is severely deformed, or with older children where the hip dysplasia wasn't caught earlier, surgery will be the preferred treatment.

Open reduction - Tissues in the hip joint may prevent it from developing normally. The surgeon will expose the joint and move tissues out of the way so the joint will develop naturally.

Pelvic and Femoral Osteotomy - These procedures reshape the bone in the socket of the pelvis and the ball at the top of the femur so the pieces fit together properly

Early detection and treatment of this disorder will get your child on their feet at a normal rate.

For professional medical care, contact an office such as Family Medical Clinic.