Hip dysplasia is caused by the abnormal development of the hip joint. It occurs once every 1,000 live births, is more likely to arise in the left hip, and among firstborn children.
The condition manifests when the “ball and socket” hip joint doesn’t fully develop. To elaborate, there are two anatomical abnormalities found in children who suffer from hip dysplasia.
- A shallow hip socket that makes it difficult for the femur’s head to secure itself in the socket safely.
- The femoral head (ball) located on top of the thigh bone is not developed, meaning it may not be seated correctly in the shallow hip socket.
How Do You Identify the Condition?
For most children, the development of hip dysplasia can be identified and diagnosed within the first few months. Here are some common symptoms that parents are advised to look out for.
- The affected hip (usually the left) has a leg that appears shorter than the other.
- A click and pop sound in the hip area might point toward hip dysplasia, although it shouldn’t be confused with the snapping sounds that come from the developing ligaments in a child’s hip.
- Difficulty putting diapers or clothes on, as the hips do not entirely spread.
- Lack of symmetry in the folds of the thighs or buttocks.
Hip dysplasia is more commonplace in children whose parents or close family members had it as infants or adults.
Girls are more likely to develop hip dysplasia during birth; this is especially true for firstborns.
If your baby was born in the breech position (feet or bottom downwards) during pregnancy, there is a higher chance of them having hip dysplasia.
Tight swaddling, which results in restricted movement in the legs, could interfere with the joint’s development. Be sure to swaddle infants while giving them enough space to move their legs.
Diagnosis And Treatment
There’s no way for doctors to diagnose hip dysplasia before a child’s birth. However, pediatricians in the U.S routinely check newborn infants for signs of hip dysplasia. After getting information on the family’s medical history, the doctor will analyze whether there’s a need for further testing. Typical tests include X-rays and sonograms.
Depending on the condition’s severity, a doctor will either follow through with a surgical or non-surgical treatment plan. For non-surgical treatments, a Pavlik harness is used to hold the infant’s hip in place; they are then tested for range of mobility. However, if the Pavlik harness does not entirely resolve the condition, doctors may move to surgical treatment.
Although hip dysplasia causes no pain, it is advised to treat it immediately to prevent problems with balance and strength in the future. If you wish to learn more about successful treatment plans, you can contact the experienced orthopedists at Artroplastias. Based in Sao Paulo, the clinic helps connect patients to private orthopedists who work round the clock.
Contact them today to schedule an appointment.