Tips for Health

Hip Problems in Infants

By on June 13, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

 

What are common hip problems in infants?

Some babies have hip problems that caused the dislocation of the hip bones. This means that the long bone of the upper leg comes out of the corresponding cavity in the hip. If your baby has this problem, it is important to detect it early so it can be fixed.

It is not always easy to see a hip problem at first, so your doctor will examine your baby’s hips in each control healthy baby until your baby can walk well.

How does the doctor check my baby’s hips?

The doctor checks the hips of a newborn baby gently moving back and forth to see if the femur is loose in the hip joint. When the baby grows, the doctor checks to see if your baby’s thighs open with ease.

What if my doctor thinks it could be a problem with my baby’s hips?

If your baby is newborn and the problem is not severe, the doctor is likely to re-examine your baby’s hips in 2 weeks.

If the hip problem is more serious, it is possible that the doctor tells you to take your baby to a pediatric orthopedist. A pediatric orthopedic surgeon is a physician who has received special training in bone problems of children.

Sometimes, it is possible to examine the hips of a baby with an ultrasound. Ultrasound uses sound waves to take a picture of your baby’s hips. It may take a radiograph of the hips when your baby is about 3 months.

How are hip problems treated?

Most hip problems can be treated with a soft brace called “Pavlik harness”. This brace keeps your baby’s knees apart and bent close to the chest. If you treat your baby with this harness, the doctor will examine your baby’s hips every 1 to 2 weeks at first, to see if the hip is falling into place and stays there. Once the hip is in place, your baby will keep wearing the brace for another 2 or 3 months. Your baby wears the brace all day and all night for about 3 to 6 months.

About 1 in every 20 babies need more than a brace to correct a hip problem. Some babies require leg casts. Other babies need surgery to repair a hip problem.

If you have relatives who have had hip problems when they were babies, tell your doctor. Even if your baby’s hips seem normal, your doctor may want him to have an ultrasound or x-ray to make sure.

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