Patient Stories


Malia was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and placed in a Pavlic harness one day after she was born. Luckily we had a good pediatric resident who picked up on the hip clicks and we saw the pediatric orthopedist before we even took her home! She was my first born, and come to find out I had a family history of hip dysplasia.
The Pavlic harness didn’t work to correct her bilateral hip dysplasia, so at 10 months old she had a closed reduction and spica cast applied. The hardest thing I had to do as a mother was watch her be carried off to the operating room. Luckily, she had been given a sedative and was drowsy so the hand off for her was not scary at all. She came out of surgery with no complications. We learned all we could from the web about spica care and management.

I even scored a free spica chair from an online support group! Malia was a trooper, kids are so adaptable. She only fussed for maybe the first 48 hours after surgery, after that she was happy as could be. I took her everywhere, except the pool. Luckily the surgery was in November so she didn’t miss out on water activities. Diaper changing was a challenge initially, but with some great tips from videos I found through this website we got the hang of it. 12 weeks later the cast came off and she went into a rhino brace. She was in the brace initially full time then ‘weaned’ out of it over another 10-12 weeks. At this point Malia was 16 months old. She started crawling, we never got to that point initially because she was always in a brace, but didn’t take her first steps until she was 26 months old. Boy was that a celebration day!
Her next orthopedic appointment after she had started walking went well, we were told her hips looked good. One year later at the next ortho appointment we were told her right hip is subluxed again. I was devastated. Now she needed more intense intervention, a PAO surgery where they cut and reshape her acetabulum. Here we go again, this time I had found a book, Hope the Hippo, for Malia to understand what was going to happen. It was great, I highly recommend it to any parent with toddlers who are going through this. We had the surgery, dealt with the spica cast this time in the summertime. Once again, Malia did great!
We are now two years post PAO and so far so good! She will be followed through puberty to make sure everything develops properly. It has been a long journey, she still is a bit behind with gross motor skills, but happy and healthy!