3 Treatments for Pediatric Hip Dysplasia

AdobeStock_97371093 (1)Hip dysplasia in children is a condition caused by issues with a child’s hip joint that occurs before birth.

It’s important to get help from a pediatric orthopedics team when this condition is suspected in an infant, though it can sometimes be difficult to detect.

If you’ve been referred to pediatric orthopedics center, your doctor will typically recommend the least invasive treatment. Here are three common treatments used for hip dysplasia in babies:

1. Pavlik Harness

The Pavlik harness is a type of brace commonly used for babies who have hip dysplasia. The harness works by keeping the infant’s hips and knees bent and thighs spread apart, helping the hips to develop properly.

The Pavlik harness is put on the child by a pediatric orthopedics specialist who will position the straps in order to help the ball of the hips and the socket to grow. The straps are marked to make sure the strap length stays the same, and the doctor will make adjustments during follow up visits.

2. Closed Reduction Surgery

In the most severe cases, surgery may be needed to treat pediatric hip dysplasia. While there are several potential procedures a doctor may choose from according to the child’s specific needs, the closed reduction surgery is the most common surgical treatment for children under 24 months.

A minimally-invasive procedure, in a closed reduction surgery the surgeon moves the ball back into the hip joint socket while the baby is asleep under general anesthesia.

3. Hip Spica Cast

The hip spica cast is typically used by pediatric orthopedics specialists after a surgical procedure, and helps to keep the infant’s hip in the newly aligned position while their joint heals, encouraging proper formation of the hip joint as the child grows.