Child Treatment Methods

Non-Surgical Treatment Methods

These methods are most common when a baby is less than 6 months of age. They typically consist of bracing a baby in such a way so that his or her hips are kept in a better position for hip joint development. The goal is to influence the natural growth processes of the baby so a more stable hip joint is developed.

Pavlik Harness

This is a specially designed harness to gently position your baby’s hips in a well aligned and secure position. This better positioning encourages normal hip joint development over time. Read more…

Hip Abduction Braces

A brace can be used for infants to hold their hips in a properly aligned position to encourage normal hip joint development. Also called fixed-abduction braces, they hold the legs apart and are not flexible like the Pavlik harness. Read More…

Traction

Traction is more commonly used in Europe and Asia than in the USA, and the reasons for traction and the benefits of traction remain controversial. Sometimes a few weeks of traction is used to stretch the ligaments before attempting a surgery such as a closed reduction. Read more…

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Surgical Treatment Methods

The idea of surgery on a young child is enough to worry any parent. However small children have amazing powers of healing. They can re-grow bones to normal lengths and bends will naturally straighten out. The doctors call this “re-modelling” and it is one of the wonders of pediatric orthopedics. If the hip stays in the joint and a complication known as AVN (avascular necrosis) doesn’t happen, then the bones will look completely normal a couple of years after surgery. After most surgical procedures a spica cast is used to keep the hip aligned in the new, corrected position while the tissues around the hip joint heal and reform into a proper hip joint.

Closed Reduction

This is the most common treatment between the ages of 6 and 24 months of age. This is a minimally invasive procedure where the physician physically manipulates the ball of the hip back into the socket. This is done with the child under general anesthesia. Read more…

Open Reduction

This is done when it is suspected that tissue is keeping the head of the femur (the ball at the top of the thigh bone) from going back into the acetabulum (the socket). In young children, clearing out the hip joint may be all that’s needed. In older children, the ligaments of the hip also need to be repaired. Read more…

Pelvic Osteotomy

This is done when the hip socket needs repair. There are several different types of pelvic osteotomy and the choice depends on the particular shape of the socket needing repair and the surgeon’s experience. Read more…

Femoral Osteotomy

This is done when the upper end of the thigh bone needs to be tipped so the ball points deeper into the socket. This is sometimes called a Varus De-rotational Osteotomy (VDO or VDRO). Read more…


Continue on to Problems After Treatment »

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