Patient Stories

William’s Story

William was 2 weeks old when he was diagnosed with Bilateral DDH. The first Orthopaedic he was referred to put William in a Pavlik Harness. However, he did not see any progress. He referred us to Dr. S, Chief Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon. Dr. S placed a hip abduction brace on William. This brace showed no improvement. He was 4 1/2 months old when he had his first hip surgery.

The doctor discovered William had very abnormal femur heads. He performed an open reduction and an illiac osteotomy on the left hip. 2 1/2 months later, he performed a pelvic osteotomy on his right hip. William wore a spica cast after both surgeries. His hips were still abnormal but were corrected as much as possible. Our doctor said William will need a total hip replacement when he is an adult. When Williams second spica cast was removed, his leg would not stretch out. Physical therapy did not work. His therapist said only surgery could release it.

When William turned 2, he started walking. His gait was wobbly due to his contracture. We continued check-ups on a yearly basis. Our doctor did not want to operate on William until he was older. During this time, William became an extremely active child. His hips did not keep him from the activities he loved. He actually developed strong upper body muscles and could do many pull-ups and push-ups. He played t-ball, was on a football team for 2 years, and he has been on a wrestling team for 4 years (he is a very good wrestler). His coaches love how determined and strong he is.

He also makes good grades in school and is very social with his friends. In 2012, I discovered William was having more problems with walking. He was falling a lot more than he should have and would get very tired. I also noticed his right foot was turning inward and he was becoming less flexible. Our doctor said surgery could help him. He performed a Right Femur Varus Derotational Osteotomy and released most of the contracture.

After the surgery, William went to physical therapy 3 times per week. William went from using a walker, to 2 crutches, to 1 crutch, to a cane. The surgery gave him more flexibility and his leg is straighter. He is still wobbly. Hopefully the cane will train his muscles to minimize the wobbling. He still has to strengthen a few more leg and hip muscles and will forever continue stretching exercises. Currently, he is complaining about knee pain and we will be seeing our doctor again soon.

I hope William will not need any more surgery up until his total hip replacement. However, we can only take it day by day. He is a wonderful, smart, active, and social kid. I am grateful he has a lot of support from his friends, family, and teachers.