WHAT IS A HIP ANOMALY?
Malposition of the hip is one of the most common congenital anomalies. The incidence is 1 – 2/1,000 newborns. Girls are affected 4 – 6 times more often. In addition breech presentation und a positive family history increase the risk for hip dislocation.
HOW IS THE SCREENING DONE?
Two hip ultrasounds are recommended in Germany. The first one at the U2-exam (3rd – 10th day of life) and the second one at U3 (4th – 6th week of life).
WHAT IS IMPORTANT AT THE ULTRASOUND EXAM?
With each ultrasound the structure and position of the hip in relation to the pelvis is controlled. Two angles (alpha and beta) are measured. Taking these criteria into account the decision is take if the hip is normal, should be watched or therapy be started. If therapy is needed a referral is made to the orthopedic doctor.
HOW IS THE THERAPY DONE AND HOW LONG?
The therapy is done conservative and depends on the grade of the dislocation. If the dislocation is mild the baby will be treated with “wide wrapping” using two to three diapers more between the legs. In case of strong dislocation a pelvic harness (Picture) is used or even a cast. The therapy duration and method is determined by the orthopedic doctor.
WILL MY CHILD HAVE PROBLEMS WITH WALKING AND RUNNING LATER?
If the dislocation is recognized and treated early the children will have no problems in later life. They will walk, run normally and can take part in any kind of sports activity they desire. At the newborn period the hip is still made out of cartilage. Through the therapy the hip can be formed properly and pushed back into the pelvis. The only problem the therapy will arise is the daily care and hygiene of the baby.