Jacob was born early on February 9, 2019 at 37 weeks gestation. His birth went smoothly and it was the happiest moment of our lives. Shortly after he was born, we realized something was wrong with his left leg. He was happily wiggling his toes and the size of his leg looked fine, but the leg itself was bending the wrong way at the knee. This was unexpected and surprising, as all ultrasounds during the pregnancy were normal. We were immediately worried about our little one.
The next day, our pediatrician ordered additional imaging and that’s when we found out our son was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the left hip. During the pregnancy, Jacob’s ultrasounds always showed his little foot by his face. We thought it was the cutest thing at the time. Along the way, however, he seemed to have wedged his leg by his face early on in my belly and couldn’t get it down. It dislocated as he got bigger. At birth, Jacob didn’t seem to be in any pain with his hip dislocated so we’re extremely thankful for that.
Five days after Jacob was born, we met with our pediatric ortho doctor and had him fitted for the Pavlik Harness. I was devastated that he had to wear the harness 24/7, but my husband and I did our best to work around the harness and make sure we still had a happy, healthy baby. Bathing, nursing, and finding clothes that fit was difficult, but we made it work. We like to think our son thought the harness was a part of his outfits.
We met with our ortho doctor every 2 weeks to check the harness and had an ultrasound every month. His hip was slowly improving, with the alpha angle going from 41 to 56 to 57. At 15 weeks, we had an ultrasound that showed his alpha angle was 62. We were so excited to learn that our son was cleared to remove the Pavlik Harness!
Nowadays, Jacob loves being out of the harness and kicks like crazy! Our journey with the Pavlik Harness felt like it took forever, but now that he’s out and has healthy hips we are so grateful that he didn’t need surgery.
Thank you to this website for educating us about hip dysplasia and providing us with so many resources!