Hip dysplasia, or congenital hip dislocation as it is also called, is a condition that can present itself soon after the baby is born. Its alteration completely impairs the stability of the joints due to the poor fit of the femur with the pelvis, giving the impression that the hip is “loose”, or as it is called by the term medical, dysplastic.
The occurrences of dysplasia in the hip or DCQ which is the acronym for naming the problem is considered common and can occur in 1 in every 60 babies born, with higher incidences in baby girls and in white . Dysplasia is suspected in almost all cases in the maternity ward by the neonatologist pediatrician.
Through the usual exams in the maternity nursery, the “click” is noticed when examining the baby’s hip. In addition to the characteristic noise, it is possible to observe a certain bounce when moving the hips, which are strong indications of dysplasia.
IMPORTANT: When discovered in the neonatal phase, the treatment responds much faster than at any stage of life. Early diagnosis will shorten the treatment period and offer more concrete results.
After suspicion, it is necessary to continue the detailed investigation until the diagnosis is closed, where a specialized pediatric orthopedist will assess the condition. The diagnosis can only be made after the image exam , more specifically the ultrasound. Through ultrasound it is possible to not only confirm hip dysplasia but also to assess the degree and severity of the problem. Dysplasia is separated into two types, mild or large.
Why Does Hip Dysplasia Occur?
After years of studies and research, it was concluded that hip dysplasia can occur due to two factors. The first that is considered to be a genetic or familial factor , the baby is born with problems in the ligaments of all joints where they present themselves in loose and totally unstable ways.
The second factor is mechanical, where it is generated by the baby’s position inside the uterus , where its pelvic position affects or favors the existence of dysplasia. As in the case of reduced amniotic fluid , very large babies or babies born through the buttocks. Through prenatal assessment exams, it is already possible to detect the problem early and trace what is expected after birth.
How to Treat Hip Dysplasia?
As with most illnesses and health problems, the sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the better the results and the faster the recovery. As soon as signs of hip dysplasia are noted, the baby should be evaluated by an orthopedist if possible in the first weeks of life.
Depending on the degree of intensity of the hip dysplasia, it is already possible to start treatment with the help of orthopedic devices that will keep the baby’s thighs flexed and away from each other. The most suitable device in these cases is similar to the famous braces, therefore named Pavlik braces .
This position allows greater stability to the hip, keeping the head of the femur centralized and its immobilization will cause the joints to be remodeled.
When diagnosed late, treatment can be longer and offer slower results. Usually babies after 6 months of age who have hip dysplasia and do not receive adequate treatment after birth tend to have the problem aggravated, providing a disengagement or dislocation of the hip.
In these cases, an intervention is necessary with the help of anesthesia where traction of the limbs is performed, release of the muscles and tendons that are shortened. This procedure is called tenotomy and after the procedure, plastering is necessary so that the hip can be refitted.
Is There Treatment When Diagnosed Late?
In the case of babies who do not receive the diagnosis until the first year of life and only hip problems are noticed when they start walking, the chances of treatment become practically null, requiring only surgical intervention for correction.
The procedure in these cases is called osteotomy , where the bone needs to be cut and fixed in the position considered correct. After completion, plastering is necessary to finalize the re-fitting.
The focus of all the treatments described is to place the head of the femur in a centralized position, appropriate to the pelvic cavity and the baby’s own body to be in charge of returning its functions. When not properly treated, hip dysplasia can cause movement limitations and the child may develop osteoarthritis and other pathologies in adulthood, in addition to severe pain. Treatment is essential to provide a quality life and without the need for surgical interventions and drug treatments to control pain as adults.
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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.