Early versus late diagnosed DDH

Early versus late diagnosed hip dysplasia stories

 Both are equally as overwhelming, and each pose their challenges, but we know which we'd choose if we were faced with one or the other.

Late Diagnosis Case:


Jem was diagnosed late at 13mths of age. Her birth was normal, she sat, rolled and crawled meeting all milestones on time and "passed" all baby checks. We also noticed she would fall down a lot for no particular reason. So one Thursday off to GP we went; the following Thursday she was in a cast after having a closed reduction. It all happened very fast; we had never heard of DDH until her diagnosis. Jem was our second girl. Jem spent a total time of 12 weeks in the cast. After the cast came off she wore a Dennis Browne Bar full time with one hour out a day. Oh the stares she would receive. Just before her 2nd birthday she was allowed to be out of the brace.

Her hips were stable but her hip cups were still too shallow and she would need a hip operation to correct this. However, Jem had developed Avascular Necrosis (AVN) and so time was needed for this to hopefully correct.

Just before her 4th birthday, Jem was prepped to have both hips operated on (pelvic osteotomy), 2 weeks apart. Having a 4 year old in a cast was very different to having a bub in one. She was very heavy. After the cast removal it took Jem 2 weeks to get back to walking. Her legs were skinny, red and dry but after some love, care and lotion (that only she was allowed to rub in) they returned too normal. DDH journeys can be long. Her next check up is at age 10. Fingers crossed until then.


Early Diagnosis Case:


When my daughter Sophie was 6-weeks old her health nurse noticed the fat folds in her thighs were not even so she sent us for an ultrasound. At this point in time I didn't think much of it, and thought they were being a bit overly cautious. The results of her scan were inconclusive and we had to go back when Sophie was 12-weeks old for another scan.

I had a gut feeling she was going to have hip dysplasia. As soon as they did the scan they took us to a room and put Sophie straight in a brace. It was very fast and my girl screamed her little heart out; I wanted to cry with her. I cried all the way home, to say I was feeling sad was an understatement.

Sophie's first check up went well, her hips were doing exactly what they hoped. The next one went even better. We went for a final ultrasound, but at 8 months old she was too old for the ultrasound. We had to go back 4-weeks later for an x-ray and those results couldn't have been better; her hips were perfect!

All up Sophie’s treatment was 23-hours a day for 10 weeks and another 5 weeks of night time only. I'm grateful every day for it being picked up so young.


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Written June 2016. Updated February 2019.


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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