L.E.'s Hip-Baby Story
L.E. was born via c-section on March 24, 2010. It was an uneventful pregnancy, despite the 65-lb weight gain. She was a beautiful baby, of course. Two hours after she was born, our pediatrician diagnosed her with Development Dysplasia of the Hip. (DDH). He referred us to a pediatric orthopedist, whom I shall call Dr. P., due to his lacking a personality the first few times we saw him. Her first appointment with Dr. P. was an emotional one for her dad and I mostly because Dr. P. is very cold. He bluntly told us that she would be in either a harness, brace or cast for the first year of her life. Even if her hips fused into their sockets, he is holding fast to this recommended aggressive treatment. I cried in the examination room and Dr. P. showed no emotion towards me whatsoever. I know doctors make up for their lack of compassion with their expertise, but I expected a little bit more from someone specializing in pediatrics. Especially from someone who has children of his own.
Dr. P. prescribed L.E. the Pavlik Harness and sent us over to an orthotic place for it. The people there were fantastic. The gentleman who outfitted L.E. took such good care of her and was extremely patient in teaching us how the harness works. He told us she could wear it either over or under her clothes. I was shocked by how stiff and scratchy it felt.
She wore it for six miserable and sleepless weeks. She poo-sprayed on it more than once and it, of course, was white canvas. It ended up not working so she was put in an abduction brace.
She wore this for six months. It was easier to deal with than the harness but it made her equally miserable. We finally got it out of Dr. P. that once her hips were in their sockets, the brace wasn't proven to do anything more than it already does. So at six months when her x-rays showed her hips were in-place, we agreed to just have her in the brace at night. This is when we discovered that she would only sleep in her carseat, which she couldn't sit in unless her brace was off.
We took a leap of faith and took her out of the brace so maybe we all could get some sleep. That didn't go well. But her hips seemed stable.
We've had check-ups with Dr. P. every six months until her 2nd birthday. Her x-rays were always good enough to not warrant any further treatment. She doesn't have to see an orthopedist again until she's four. In the meantime, she can run, jump and play like a totally normal and frustrating toddler.