My beautiful daughter Allison was “officially” diagnosed with CDH/DDH at 6 months of age. At birth she had a “mild” click with the left hip, but had an ultrasound and was evaluated by an [adult] orthopaedic surgeon who felt that no treatment was necessary. At her following well-child pediatric appointments no click was present and I breathed a sigh of relief. At her 6 month well-child visit to the pediatrician he heard the click again. 2 days later we had another consult with the original orthopaedic surgeon and had an x-ray and ultrasound done. The radiologist – who is a friend of ours – said that the x-ray showed dysplasia. The orthopaedic surgeon still felt it was too mild to require any treatment. I had had it at this point.
I called a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon with whom my husband was vaguely acquainted, and begged him to see us ASAP. He squeezed us in on a Friday before his vacation as a favor. He took one look at Allison’s films and said she needed immediate treatment which meant 3 to 4 months in a spica cast. I could not believe what I was hearing! He delayed his vacation by a day and scheduled her for a closed reduction that Monday. I had 2 days to adjust to the fact that my BEAUTIFUL, good tempered little cherub was going to be immobilized for 4 months! I cried non-stop… I too was very worried about her going under anesthesia, but my husband is an anesthesiologist so he was able to respond to my concerns and calm my fears.
She had the arthrogram/closed reduction that Monday – the procedure went very well. The cast covered both legs from her nipple level to the tips of her toes. We took her home that evening – she actually slept through the night. She was totally FINE with the cast.
She was checked a week later – the hip was stable (staying in place). She proceeded to have 2 more cast changes (for a total of 3 casts). Each was a little bit different in that the hole for defecation/urinitation was slightly varied in size. The last cast gave us back her feet – it was so nice to see them again.
She was in the cast 2 weeks shy of 4 months. Once the cast was removed she went to an abduction brace for 23 hours a day for 6 weeks. When we went for the follow-up visit after the 6 weeks her acetabular angles were measured and we had 18 on right (the unaffected side) and 19 on the left (affected side). So she was taken down to 16 to 18 hours a day in the brace.
We just had another follow-up last week and everything has remained the same so she is down to nights and naps now. So far our outcome has been really great – thanks to a lot of prayers and a GREAT doctor.