N26 — July 2013 — Baby Hip Instability and Dysplasia
Intro: Few moments are as joyful as the one when you bring a brand new baby into the world. But imagine the worry you'd feel if right after birth you learned something was wrong. Hip instability is an issue in approximately one in 1-hundred births. Most cases resolve on their own, but some don't. Mayo Clinic doctors say if you treat hip instability as soon as possible after birth, most kids grow up with healthy, normal hips.
Meet little Skylar Getschmann and her mom Taylor Petrich [Peet'-rick].
She's really happy. She sleeps a lot but she's smiley and she's very wiggly."
And Skylar was born with infant hip instability in her right hip. An issue doctors identified hours after she was born.
"They had discovered a small click. Her hip comes out of socket."
Hip instability happens when the hip socket isn't deep enough (which is dysplasia) or because ligaments are loose and allow the ball to slip out of the socket.
"We want to do everything we can to make sure that the ball is inside the socket while those ligaments tighten up and then those ligaments can hold the ball deep and securely inside the socket."
Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon Dr. Anthony Stans says the sooner you treat hip instability, the easier it is to correct.
"If detected certainly in the first three months of life, it can be treated with something other than a cast."
And without surgery.
Skylar wears a harness.
"The brace holds her knees up so the femur is at a 90-degre angle."
The position holds the ball of her hip firmly in the socket so the ligaments tighten properly and stabilize the joint.
"She has to wear the brace for 24 hours a day for about 9 weeks."
Then 12 hours a day for 6 more weeks.
Taylor says little Skylar isn't really bothered by it at all. And four to six months in a brace is nothing compared to wearing a restrictive cast, enduring surgery, or having a hip replacement down the road because of severe arthritis.
"It's not that bad."
What causes hip instability and dysplasia? Risk factors include: a positive family history, breach birth, being first born and being female — girls are six times more likely to have it than boys.
Since Skylar started wearing her brace days after she was born, there's an 80 to 95-percent chance her hips will be just fine.
For Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Vivien Williams.
Dr. Stans says most hospitals check for hip dysplasia as part of newborn infant screening programs. And as the child grows, pediatricians check for it during well child visits.
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