The hip joint is a ball & socket type joint. Sometimes the hip joints of an infant do not develop properly during early stages of fetal development, resulting in an unstable hip since birth. A careful examination can detect it early and can be treated with good results. If left untreated, it can result in a serious joint problem with gait abnormality.
What are its causes?
Many theories have been given for the possible cause of this problem like the intrauterine position of the baby, less amount of amniotic fluid in the mother’s womb.
Risk factors like a first baby, female child, breech position of the baby, family history of the same disorder should be watched carefully.
Know its Symptoms
One can easily find abnormal creases around the hip, limb length discrepancy, abnormal posture of limb and abnormal mobility of lower limb.
Is there any diagnosis available?
Normally, an orthopaedic surgeon diagnoses congenital hip dislocation by examining the child’s hips and legs carefully. Barlow and Ortolani test are be performed to diagnose the status of the hip. These tests are basically called as screening tests.
Recently Ultrasound of hip gives us the accurate status of Hip Dysplasia. Ultrasound is a non-invasive and safe mode of investigation with high accuracy rate. X-rays can be done to diagnose the DDH if the age of the child is old.
What is the treatment available?
Dr. Nargesh Agarwal, Consultant- Paediatric Orthopaedic & Deformity Correction, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh says treatment depends on the age and status of the hip. If a child is younger than six months then closed reduction and the pelvic harness is helpful or closed reduction and spica cast can be given for few weeks. If it fails then it requires surgery, which is performed by open reduction or closed reduction followed by casting.
Q: - Why it happened in my child??
A: - There are many possible reasons for this but intrauterine position, space in mother womb are two most common reasons. Others like a first female child with a family history of the same disease also in risk.
Q: - Can we diagnose it before delivery??
A: - Yes, with USG level 1 or 2
Q: - Will it affect future growth of hip and will it cause limp??
A: - If diagnosed early and treated appropriately then results are fairly good. If remained untreated or diagnosed late then results are not as good as it should be. Hence early the treatment better is the result.