DDH treatment finished – now what?

"My child's DDH treatment is finished - now what?"

We get variations of this question asked quite frequently. Every journey is different. Treatment type and duration vary, as do the recommendations for what is safe to do, and what not to do, once treatment is over.

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Do we have one concise answer to eliminate the confusion? Sadly not (we are working on getting a consensus on the main causes for confusion however).

So what do we recommend? Once you have jumped for joy (or at least your heart has whilst you sit in from of the Doctor) ask your specialist.

Questions to ask your specialist-

The following is a list of questions that we suggest you ask your specialist so that you and your child can get on with enjoying their new found freedom without hesitation:

  • Will we have a review post treatment to check the hips are continuing to develop normally? (These typically occur at 3, 6 or 12 months post treatment depending on the severity of the dysplasia and duration of the treatment).
  • Are there any activities we should avoid? The most commonly queried activities are;
    • Jumping on the trampoline
    • Swimming
    • Climbing
  • Can we use the following, and if so for how long each day;
    • Bumbo seat
    • Jumpers (such as the Jolly Jumper)
    • Walkers
  • Is W-sitting to be discouraged?
  • If I hear 'clicking' what could it mean and what should I do?
  • If I notice further signs and symptoms of DDH emerge post treatment what should I do?

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HHA Recommendations-

For newborns and babies;

Allow:

  • Natural leg position. Legs bent at knee and turned out at hip (froggie position).
  • Swaddle for healthy hip development. Guidelines available here.

Avoid:

  • Tight swaddling. Legs should be free to move.
  • Baby seats, car seats, carriers, and slings that bring legs together at the knees, allow the legs to hang, or position them stretched out straight and together.

Further Information -

  • 'Regression' is when the hip joint fails to continue to develop/grow at an acceptable rate, or becomes mis-aligned, again after successful initial treatment. Whilst this isn't the norm, it does occur and plays a factor in part-time treatment becoming more common, (such as night-time bracing) and repeat reviews post treatment.
  • The causes of hip dysplasia aren't fully known but genetics does play a role in the incidence. According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, hip dysplasia is approximately 12 times more likely when there is a family history. Discuss the need to screen siblings, future siblings and relatives (depending on the strength of the family history) with your specialist.

Final word of advice…Enjoy your child's new found freedom!

Written: February 2016

Disclaimer

This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. Every effort is made to ensure this information is up to date, accurate and easy to understand. Healthy Hips Australia accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading. This can be reproduce with acknowledgement to Healthy Hips Australia. Handouts are available to download free of charge at www.healthyhipsaustralia.org.au

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