Heather’s Story

I was a breech infant, born naturally, and had a clubfoot and bilateral hip dysplasia at birth due to this. My mother’s OB/GYN and my pediatrician both chose to use the “double diapering” treatment instead of a Pavlik harness or the spica. The double diapers served the same purpose as the Pavlik, or was supposed to anyway.

As I got older, it was hard to tell what was the hip dysplasia and what was my joints (I had very loose ligaments), and so I was followed closely by a physician until it seemed as though everything had corrected itself. At 18 years old, I tore my labrum in my left hip, which is essentially the ligament that holds the hip to the femur. I saw an orthopedic surgeon, who specialized in hip dysplasia, and he explained that this was a very common injury for those whose hip dysplasia went uncorrected.

At 18 years old, I had to have major hip surgery in order to repair my labrum, and this was not a permanent solution. I will likely have to have a hip replacement at a young age, or a repeat of my previous surgery.

My mother was familiar with the Pavlik harness, having worked in health care for many years, and she asked the doctor why they wouldn’t treat me with it. They never gave her any answer other than “this will work better.” She says to this day that she wished she had fought for better treatment.

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