Pediatric Hip Dysplasia: Causes, Treatment & Cost of DDH

What is Pediatric Hip Dysplasia?

A pediatric hip dysplasia is the congenital (birth) condition in which the child’s hip joints and weak, asymmetrical or can be easily dislocated.

The hip joint is one of the weight-bearing and most important joints in the human body. The hip joint is a typical ‘ball and socket’ joint in which the top part of the femur (thigh bone) known as the femoral head fits snugly in the socket-like portion of the acetabulum (hip bone). This joint is further supported and strengthened by a number of muscles, tendons and ligaments. There is a soft and cushion-like cartilage between the femoral head and the acetabulum that provides the hip joint stability and lubrication for movement.

In children with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) the hip joint is seen to have formed abnormally and mostly results in the femoral head to be loose in the socket and easily dislocated with external manipulation.

The main cause for the looseness of the femoral head in fitting the acetabulum is the shallow socket formed in the hip bone which disallows the femoral head to fit properly in the socket of the acetabulum. At times the supportive ligaments in the hips are found to be stretched and loose. The DDH is classified into three main types:

Dislocated – This is the most severe form of DDH where the femoral head is completely dislocated from the acetabulum.

Dislocatable – This is the moderate form of DDH and causes the femoral head to stay in the socket of the acetabulum but can be easily dislocated from the socket with slight manipulation during a physical examination.

Subluxatable – This is the milder form of DDH. In this the femoral head does not fit snugly in the socket and the femoral head can be felt moving loosely inside the socket.

How do you know if your baby has Hip Dysplasia?

There are certain distinctly recognizable signs and symptoms that can help determine if your baby is suffering from developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), such as:

  • Asymmetry – If the child’s buttock creases are found to be asymmetrical in the infancy it can mean the presence of DDH in your child.
  • Hip click – If you can hear a distinct ‘click’ or ‘pop’ from the hip region of your baby when moving their hips in particular motions it could be a sign of DDH.
  • Limited motion – The hips of your baby cannot be spread over a range.
  • Pain – Although pain cannot be normally detected in an infant with DD Hot can be identified as the baby grows.
  • Abnormal gait – An exaggerated limp or waddling gait in the child can mean that there is leg length discrepancy that may be caused by DDH in one of the hip joints.

What causes Hip Dysplasia?

There are several causes that are found to give rise to developmental dysplasia of the hips (DDH) in an infant or a child, such as:

  • Fetal position – Infants found to have been in a breech position during pregnancy are more likely to suffer from DDH.
  • Genes – The hormone relaxin in more prominence in the family may also cause the infant to have DDH. Certain ethnicities such as Native Americans and the Sami people/Lapps are more prone to DDH.
  • Swaddling – Improper swaddling techniques, in which the child’s knees are straight and the hips are in an adducted position, are known to raise the risk of DDH in a child considerably.
  • Gender – Girls have been found to be more at risk of DDH as compared to boys.
  • Oligohydroaminos – The deficiency of amniotic fluids in the infant can also raise the risk of DDH as it grows.

How common is Hip Dysplasia in children?

Studies have shown that at least 1-2 babies out of 1,000 are found to be suffering from DDH since their birth. Apart from congenital defects DDH can also arise due to external factors such as swaddling methods hence the chances of the child acquiring DDH in the latter stages are also increased.

What are the treatment options for Pediatric Hip Dysplasia?

There are a number of treatment options for pediatric hip dysplasia. The main factor to decide the most effective form of treatment is the child’s age at the time of detection and treatment.

These are the different options for treatment of pediatric hip dysplasia:

Non-surgical treatment

These treatment methods are dependent on the child’s exact age.

  • Newborns – A harness-device called the ‘Pavlik Harness’ is advised for a child between 1-2 months old age. This harness is useful in keeping the thighbone firmly inside the socket. This harness keeps the hips in their proper position but allows unrestricted movement of the legs. This harness is also advantageous in promoting normal hip socket development as well as tightening the ligaments in the hip joint.
  • 1-6 months – A number of harnesses or braces can be used to keeping the baby’s thighbone inside the socket even in cases of dislocation. Initially, this harness is advised to be worn full-time for 6 weeks and occasionally for the next 6 weeks. In case the harness is not successful in positioning the hips properly the doctor may suggest and abduction brace made from a more firm material that will keep the baby’s legs in position. Certain severe cases may also require spica cast (body cast) to be used after the doctor moves the baby’s thighbone in the normal position.
  • 6 months – 2 years – Older babies are often treated with spica cast or skin traction devices. Skin traction method is used to strengthen the supporting ligaments in order to hold the thighbones in place.

Surgical treatment

  • 6 months-2 years – The doctor might perform an open surgery to place the hip joints in the normal position. This involves the surgeon making an incision at the hip to allow complete access to the hip joint and its surrounding tissues. The surgeon may be required to file (shorten) the femoral head or the acetabulum for the joint components to fit properly. The child is usually put in a body cast for a few weeks to allow the bones to heal.
  • 2 years and above – An open surgery is usually performed in case earlier non-surgical methods fail to address the DDH in the child.

Cost of Pediatric Hip Dysplasia Treatment in India

Medical Tourism in India has acquired global recognition over the last couple of decades. Numerous treatment recourses for Pediatric Hip Dysplasia are available in India. Treatments are significantly based on the child’s age group at the time of dysplasia detection. Travcure Medical Tourism Expert Consultants offer cost effective healthcare treatment packages from the preeminent orthopedic hospitals in India. With low-cost of medical procedures & high quality of treatments in India, pediatric doctors and surgeons are well-trained in executing most complex hip dysplasia treatments. Home to a large pool of specialist pediatric orthopedists & internationally accredited hospitals, India is definitely a healthcare traveler’s bounty chest.

Why choose Pediatric Hip Dysplasia treatment in India?

There is a vast network of pediatric orthopedic specialty hospitals and clinics that cover all the major cities in India. These pediatric hospitals and clinics are equipped with the latest and most modern surgical instruments and the pediatric surgeons and doctors are well-experienced in managing all types of hip dysplasia cases. An additional advantage of getting pediatric hip dysplasia treatment in India is the considerably low cost of treatment with global-class facilities.

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