Morgan was a normal baby with no real issues. It wasn’t until she was about 6 months old that we noticed the uneven skinfold on her right thigh. We asked the pediatrician about it and she told us that it was nothing to worry about, just an “extra fat pad”. We put it out of our minds and moved on. Morgan crawled normally and at 11 months, she was pulling herself up and cruising around furniture and climbing on everything. She couldn’t walk though. At her 12 month check up, we expressed concern with the pediatrician who told us not to worry, it was normal for kids to not be walking yet. Again, we put our concerns in the back of our minds. At 15 months, she still wasn’t walking. Again, we expressed concern and were told by the pediatrician that while this was on the late side of walking, it was still not an area of concern. Despite our better judgement, we didn’t push the issue and prayed Morgan would soon start walking. At 18 months, she was taking a few steps, then she would fall. It also seemed that she was dragging her right leg. At her 18 month check up, the pediatricain finally agreed that there may be an issue and sent us for a CT scan. The day of the scan, she called us to tell us that it showed that Morgan had DDH and a hign dislocation of her right leg. We were told over the phone that she would probably need surgery and we needed to see an orthopaedic surgery as soon as possible. Needless to say, we were in shock. We had never even heard of DDH and now we are being told our baby may need surgery. We saw the orthopaedic surgeon a week later and the diagnosis was confirmed. He advised us that Morgan’s hip was severely dislocated and most likely had been that way from birth. due to her age, harnesses were not an option so she was schedule for a closed reduction on July 13, 2013. She was 19 months old and went in to her first spica for 6 weeks. She did amazing, learned how to crawl and get around pretty quickly.
It was summer in Virginia, so it was pretty tough to do anything outdoors with her. We were excited after 6 weeks when she was supposed to have the cast removed and go in to a brace. Unfortunately, when the cast was removed, her hip popped out again so she went back in to another spica for an additional 6 weeks.
It was a challenge dealing with an almost 2 year old in a spica cast. changing her, keeping her occupied and carrying her were very tough. I had just been preparing to return back to work prior to the diagnosis, so that was all put on hold,
After 12 weeks in a spica, we were told Morgan’s hips looked good and she would go into an abuction brace for 6 weeks which we did. All looked good. We returned for her three month post op and unfortunately, the xray showed her hip had moved again and she would need an open reduction.
In March , 2014, Morgan had an open reduction and spent another 6 weeks in a spica. She did great, even learning how to crawl up the stairs and stand in her spica. Her positive attitude and perserverance was such an inspiration. The doctors felt very strong that this last procedure would do the trick and we should be good, so imagine our dismay when we went back for her 6 week post op and we were told that her hip had moved again. Devestated doesn’t begin to explain how we felt. Morgan had started walking and playing and was so happy she could play with her friends and be a “normal” kid. Now, we were looking at a second summer in a spica cast. On July 31, 2014, Morgan had a Dega Osteotmy and spent another 6 weeks in a spica.
It was harder on me this time as she was almost 3 years old and weighed almost 30 pounds without the cast. As always, she was a trooper and we got thru it. At 6 weeks, all looked good, at 3 months, all looked good and today, April 27, 2015 at 3.5 years of age, Morgan got the “all clear”. Her hip looks perfect and we don’t have to be seen again for two years!
This has been such a journey for us. We have struggled physically, emotionally and financially. Our faith has been tested and our family has been tested. Looking back, I believe there is a reason that our kids get “chosen” to go thru this. We have amazing kids who need to show others what it means to be happy thru the trials, to perservere, to appreciate the little things and to never give up. While our journey seems to be over, I believe our family has been set on a path to help spread DDH awareness to others so that other families know the signs, they know the dangers of certain things and that they learn to know their children and not give up when they think something is wrong. Our journey has been full of ups and downs, but I will say that my faith is stronger, my family is stronger and my appreciation for the little things is stronger because of DDH and for that, I am thankful!