Femoral Nerve Palsy

Femoral nerve palsy can develop during treatment with the Pavlik Harness. It occurs in about 2-3% of babies that use the harness. It does not mean that the harness was used incorrectly. Femoral nerve palsy sounds bad but it’s like your leg falling asleep when you cross your legs while sitting. It is almost always reversible when the position is changed by removing the harness or adjusting it to decrease the flexed position of the hip.

Femoral Nerve Palsy from pavlik harness treatment[+] Enlarge
This child’s left leg is affected by femoral nerve palsy.

The femoral nerve is a large nerve in front of the hip joint. It can become kinked when the hip is flexed or in the bent up position. There is no pain because it is a muscle nerve only. The muscle on the front of the thigh “falls asleep” and the baby can’t straighten the knee.

If you notice that your child isn’t trying to kick his/her leg out straight, there might be femoral nerve palsy. Your doctor will check for this during regular exams in the Pavlik Harness, but this is most likely to occur during the first week that the child is in the harness.

The causes of femoral nerve palsy aren’t fully understood, but it is more likely to occur in an older infant, in a heavier infant, or when the hip dysplasia is more serious. A recent study published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that success with the Pavlik Harness is only 47% when palsy develops and it is more likely to develop in infants with a stiff dislocated hip.

It’s important to know that femoral nerve palsy can occur in the harness so that the harness can be removed or adjusted. However, femoral nerve palsy is a sign of more serious hip problems and is probably not a sign that the harness was used incorrectly.


Reference:
Murnaghan, ML, Browne RH, Sucato DL, Birch J, “Femoral nerve palsy in Pavlik harness treatment for developmental dysplasia of the hip.” J. Bone Joint Surg. 93A:493-9, 2011

 

Back to Pavlik Harness Treatment

  • Call to Action Buttons

  • Email Sign Up

    Email Sign Up
  • Social Media Links

  • Translate Link

    Para ver en Español Click Aquí

  • SubNav Menu

  • Latest News

    Latest News

    Submit a Story

    Hip Arthroscopy as Treatment for Hip Dysplasia: An...

    Mar 05

    Surgical treatment of adult hip dysplasia by arthroscopic surgery alon...

    The IHDI Impact

    Mar 04

    The IHDI will have a strong presence during next week’s annual meeti...

    How Has Hip Dysplasia Impacted Your Life?

    Feb 19

    It’s Personal  Dr. Tina Gambling, School of Healthcare Sciences,...

  • Latest Stories

    Latest Stories

    Submit a Story

    Tina

    Feb 13

    Hi, my name is Tina, I am an academic working in the field of psycholo...

    Ema

    Feb 12

    Hi, I am 44 and only been diagnosed with hip dysplasia. It make so muc...

    Natalie

    Feb 11

    My name is Natalie and I am 20 years old and I've been diagnosed with ...