Hip Dysplasia Q&A with Dr. Charles Price

When I gave birth to The Pea, I shared a hospital room with a woman who also had given birth within a few. Unfortunately her birth was not as uneventful as mine; I learned that her new baby had just been  diagnosed with hip dysplasia.  I remember hearing her talk about it with her doctor through the curtain that separated her bed from mine. Fortunately hip dysplasia can be corrected, and with knowledge of proper swaddling techniques, hip dysplasia can be prevented from developing after birth!  Here are some important facts about hip dysplasia for new parents:

Hip Dysplasia affects thousands of babies a year. Left undetected, it can cause hip arthritis and is the cause of over 10% of hip replacements in the U.S.

Pediatric Orthopedist Dr. Charles Price has been asked about hip dysplasia by many new parents and offers this information on the condition. Dr. Price is head of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute which was founded by Larry the Cable Guy and his wife Cara after his son was successfully treated for the condition.

Ask Dr. Price

Dr. Charles Price is a Pediatric Orthopedist at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Director of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

Q: What is hip dysplasia and when does it occur?

A: Hip Dysplasia occurs when children are born with the hip out of the socket or when the bones of the hip joint are not aligned correctly. This prevents the hip joint from functioning properly, thus causing the joint to wear out much faster. When babies are checked for the condition at birth about 2-3 babies per 1000 will require treatment, making it the most common newborn condition. Recently orthopedists have also discovered cases of hip dysplasia developing after birth as a result of tight swaddling.

Q: Can hip dysplasia be corrected?
A: The earlier hip dysplasia is detected, the easier it is to correct without surgery.

Q: How can post natal hip dysplasia be avoided?
Although swaddling an infant has many positive effects, often parents are taught to swaddle the baby's entire body tightly to create a cocoon. The restriction of movement in the lower half of the body can lead to post-natal hip dysplasia. To help avoid post natal hip dysplasia, swaddle just the top half of baby's body and allow legs freedom of movement. Parents can learn more about safe swaddling here:

Q: Is hip dysplasia painful?
A: Hip Dysplasia can be a "silent" condition meaning that pain is not normally felt until much later in life. Undetected or "hidden" hip dysplasia is the most common cause of hip arthritis in young women under the age of 50. It also accounts for about 10% of all total hip replacements in the U.S. each year, or approximately 35,000 from hip dysplasia.

Q5: How can we learn more?
A: For additional information on hip dysplasia, including safe swaddle tips and how to recognize it in your child, visit www.hipdysplasia.org

Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post.  Information (in italics) is provided by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute via KMC.  The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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