Once a diagnosis for DDH has been achieved, hip dysplasia treatment may need to be started. In some case, baby hip dysplasia treatment isn’t needed as the baby’s hip can stabilise on its own.
Hip dysplasia baby treatment is often very effective and with early diagnosis, most children affected will develop a full range of movement in their hip, with no lasting effects.
There are a number of different treatment options for hip dysplasia, depending on how quickly the condition is diagnosed and the severity of it.
A Pavlik harness is a fabric splint that is used to treat DDH in babies. It’s simply used to secure both of your baby’s hips into a stable position as they develop naturally. It’s often used for several weeks and is worn constantly. Through follow up appointments, health professionals will check your baby’s hips and adjust the Pavlik harness where necessary. It can be challenging to changes your baby’s clothes, nappies, and other routine tasks but you should receive advice and instructions when at the hospital.
Hip dysplasia treatment may involve surgery if the condition is missed during the baby’s first months or if a Pavlik harness hasn’t been effective. The most common type of surgery is known as a reduction, this is where the ball of the femur is placed back into the hip socket. It’s a procedure that’s conducted under general anaesthetic and your child will need to wear a cast for at least six weeks following the surgery. The hip will be examined at regular points following the surgery to assess how the hip is stabilising.
Closed reduction and hip spica (for children over 6 months of age) – under local anaesthetic, the hip is correctly repositioned, which is checked by an MRI or CT scan after the procedure. A special cast is applied to keep the hip in the right position and is worn for at least 12 weeks.
Open reduction (for an older child) - an operation to loosen the tendons around the hip and remove any obstacle preventing the hip from moving freely. Once the bones are in a good position, the joint is strengthened.
Other types of surgery
Where the condition is more severe, hip displacement treatment may also require bone surgery, allowing for bone deformities that may have developed to be corrected. If DDH has not been resolved by 18 months, more complicated surgery is required. This involves removing some parts of the bone and joint so that the hip can be kept in the right position.