Parents and doctors would like to know if hip dysplasia can return after it’s been successfully treated. Researchers in Zurich, Switzerland have given us a possible answer for babies who were declared normal after six months of treatment from birth. These researchers found 150 adolescents who had been declared normal after their initial treatment for hip dysplasia. None had undergone surgery during treatments, and all patients had a normal hip at time of walking age.
In spite of very successful treatment, four of the 150 patients had developed dysplasia that needed surgery during adolescence. That’s 2½% of patients that had a relapse, but this means that 97.5% stayed normal without any additional treatment. This information is a little discouraging because it means that a few hips will still relapse after successful early treatment. This also means that successfully treated babies should probably have a follow-up x-ray 5-10 years after being told that the hips were normal.
It’s easier to deal with any relapse earlier before the hips deteriorate further with age. However, we should still remind ourselves that there’s a 97.5% chance that normal hips will stay normal when treatment begins at birth, and that’s a lot better than letting nature take its course without treatment.