Naomi’s Story

My daughter Naomi was diagnosed with DDH at birth (she is almost 3 now). She had ALL 5 risk factors for DDH, she was a c-section baby because she was breech, she is my firstborn, female and there is a strong family history of DDH on my side. I was also born with DDH but I was not diagnosed until I was almost 2 years old. I had a funny walk that the babysitter noticed since she had hardwood floors and my parents had carpet. I had 2 surgeries (and wore Spicas for a few months) to correct my hip. I haven’t had too much trouble with my hip it only bothers me if I’ve been standing or walking too long and when it rains. I’ve grown quite used to the pain and its not unmanageable. I will require a total hip replacement when it becomes unmanageable but I’m hoping to put that off for at least another decade (I’m only 27!) I used to love when my mom told me stories about my surgeries and how I had even made friends with an inmate during my hospital stay. My surgeries were performed by Dr. Salter at Sick Kids in Toronto and I am very lucky to have had him as my surgeon! I remember I had a nurse named Crazy Mary that had bright green eyes and wore a Santa Claus pen around her neck (even though it wasn’t Christmas).

It has taken me a long time to build up the courage to write our story since I’m not sure my daughter is out of the woods just yet. So normally I don’t even like to think about it. Next week we go for her “one year post-op check-up” and I am very nervous. Her hip has made clicky sounds on and off and I can’t help but worry that she will need another surgery. She had her last check up in April 2012 and everything looked perfect on the x-ray but she is 2 and she’s very active so I worry something may have changed between then and now.

Naomi’s surgery was performed by Dr. Wedge at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto in January 2012. She went home the next day and adapted very well to her Spica. She was even pulling herself up to standing within the first week. We had no problems with the cast and it wasn’t as bad to lift her as I thought it would be. She was very mobile the whole time which was a shock to me as I thought she wouldn’t be able to move. She proved me wrong!! She was in the cast for a total of 6 weeks. Looking back the time flew by but in reality, it was the longest 6 weeks of my life! Her cast came off the day after her 2nd birthday and she was walking again by the weekend (just in time for her birthday party!). Since then my husband and I don’t really talk about it…it was a very hard experience to go through as new parents and we just want to put it behind us but as there is no quick fix for DDH this probably isn’t the best coping method, but its just how we’ve dealt with it.

Through all this I’ve learned hip dysplasia is not the worse thing that can happen to someone BUT its also a very long and hard recovery for everyone involved. I have met some other wonderful parents out there whose children have had multiple surgeries that have required pins and traction and hip braces and my heart just aches for them. I have also learned that no matter how bad things may seem there is always someone else worse off than you and that has made me so thankful for what I DO have. I am so blessed to have my beautiful daughter who has taught me so much about life and she’s only 2 years old!

 

I do feel better for having shared our story and I wish all of you who are going through this experience the best of luck and speedy recoveries for your little ones!!




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  1. Yvonne Dempster says:

    Hi, thank you for sharing your story. My 3 year old grandaughter has very mild DDH and we are being torn apart as to the best action to take. First Dr says ” I can’t see any problem” the second Dr. says she needs the op and a third Dr. says he cannot justify the op on the evidence he has. I worry that the op may cause more problems in the future than the mild DDH might cause, you have said that you will still need a hip replacement in the future yet you had the op. I think there are to many “if and maybe’s” where DDH in concerned.

    • Renee L says:

      Hi Yvonne,
      I was worried that the surgery might cause more problems as well and that is a very normal feeling! Since you have gotten conflicting advice from different doctors it is easy to get lost in the “what ifs”. I can tell you from personal experience that without the surgery I would be in a lot more pain than I am now. I can say hands down the worst part of the whole experience is the unknown, what ifs and the maybes!

  2. Renee L says:

    I mentioned at the beginning of our story that we have a family history of DDH. My younger sister was born with both hips dislocated and was placed in a pavlik harness and it worked for her; she’s had no problems since (now 26 years old). My sister’s DDH was dectected at birth (as was my daughter’s) and after 9 weeks in the harness my daughter’s hip had improved and we thought we were free and clear. It was at her next check up they told us her hip socket was still under developed and she would need surgery and a spica to correct the problem. I remember thinking that since my daughter’s DDH was caught at birth that she would not likely require surgery so it was devastating to be back at square one. We also had reservations about the surgery and wanted to get a second opinion but in the end we decided that if they could fix her hip now it could spare her from a future hip replacement and/or arthritic pain and related complications. I say “could” because in reality anything can happen. We are trying to stay positive however :)

  3. Abby M says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us Renee! You are an amazing mom and you have this strength like no one else I know. Love u sis xoxoxo

  4. Yvonne Dempster says:

    Thank you so much for your reply, its means so much to hear from mums who have gone through the same ordeal. My grandaughter Bow has no external evidence what so ever of DDH, this came about only because she was breech with no clicky hip at birth, the first scan proved inconclusive so at 18 months old had an xray. They decided to just keep an eye on it, at two she had an arthagram that proved the hip to be stable and each xray since total of three have shown the hip to be reducing on its own, with one of doctor’s registra’s telling us that all was normal. Then out of the blue the consultant told us he wanted to do the op, when we tried to ask questions his reply was” Thats right, take the easy way out”! does he think that any of this is easy? We then got a second opinion private and he said he could not justify doing the op with the evidence we gave him from the hospital. We are now waiting for another referral to a hospital recommended by the Dr. who carried out the second opinion.

    • Renee L says:

      Bow! What a gorgeous name :)

      Sometimes I can’t believe how insensitive people can be!! We have been fortunate enough not to have had any bad experiences in that regard. Sick Kids is one of the leading pediatric orthopedic hospitals in North America, we are very lucky to live so close.

      I wish you and your granddaughter the best of luck for your future appointments! I don’t see why if her hip is developing normally, they would need do any surgery. I’m sending my positive thoughts and prayers your way!

  5. Yvonne Dempster says:

    Thank you Renee for your thoughts and prayers. We have the support of very close family all tied together with a beautiful “Bow” !

  6. Jennifer Larock says:

    Very well written, Renee. Your Uncle Barry would be so proud of what a wonderful mother you are and a wonderful writer you are. It takes a lot of courage to share life’s challenges. :)

  7. Eileen D. says:

    Did you daughter need any braces after the cast came off? Any physical therapy?

  8. Lilian Ambler says:

    We are worried about our granddaughter she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia when she was born and had splints for about 9 months she is now 11 and walks with feet turned out and not very good with climbing/pe, very good swimmer though. School have asked us to very
    get a Drs report as they think she is struggling. She gets up and down stairindoors great but stairs in shopping centres etc she is very cautious. Has anyone else got a similar story that would put our minds at rest.

  9. Diana says:

    Hi, thank you for sharing your stories. I’m from Indonesia and came accross your story while surfing on the internet. My daughter was diagnosed DDH and also LLD ‘suspect’ (i haven’t take the xray yet because i was worried how to make my daughter calm during the rontgen / xray process). I saw in your picture that your daughter only wore the spica on one side, here in indonesia the children wear spica from the stomach until upper leg. I can’t imagine how fussy my daughter will be if she has to wore the full spica. Has your daughter fully recovered yet? or she still in some therapy? Thank you

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