Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)

Hip Hip Hooray

Today we were at The Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow for a check up on Daisy’s hips.  She was born with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips (DDH).  This is reasonably common in first born girls and usually runs in families but it is something that she has introduced to our family.  It is a condition where the ‘ball and socket’ joint of the hips doesn’t properly form in babies and young children.

When she was about 5 weeks old, and had just had her first does of chemo, they tried her in a Pavlik Harness (see pic below on left – random pics I found on google, not Daisy).  The Orthopaedic Surgeon didn’t feel this was holding her hips in the correct place so they then put her in a Von Rosen splint (picture on the right).  At the time, I remember being hugely inconvenienced by this.  More so than the chemo.  Which is weird.  I think it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back with everything that was going on.  It was a right royal pain in the arse to get nappies on.  We weren’t allowed to take the harness off; we had to stuff the nappy through the holes.

She was only in the Von Rosen Harness for about three weeks when they decided they didn’t think it was doing the job so they abandoned it and said they would put her in a hip spica when she was 6 months old.  I remember being very relieved at the time.  Something I could park and deal with at a later date.

When it came to the 6 month mark, Daisy had just been in hospital with a pretty life threatening infection in her central line.  They told us we got her to the hospital just in the nick of time; another 2 hours and she’d have been in intensive care.  Well that certainly scared the sh1t out of us.  Because they didn’t want to risk the infection getting into her hip joint, they decided to wait to put her in the hip spica.

Daisy finally went into the hip spica at 9 months old.  It’s a type of plaster that covers both legs from the ankles up to the level of the belly button. An area around the groin is cut out for nappies to be squeezed through.  It was like a reverse Houdini challenge.    My poor wee poppet was stuck in this for 6 months.  It was a right pain in the butt too.  Especially when she did a poo explosion.  One time it was so bad that we had to go back to the hospital for them to remove all the poo stainage and re-stuff the plaster.

Anyway, like everything thrown at her, Daisy dealt with this like a boss.  Well, apart from the first 24 hours.  That was horrendous.  The first night, I had to sleep with her on me, lying on a hospital camp bed.  She was so upset.  I was terrified this was what it was going to be like for the next 6 months.  Thankfully, she made a miraculous recovery after about 24 hours and was back to her happy self.  The hip spica was taken off just in time for her to be the most gorgeous little flower girl at our wedding.


It’s difficult to know how much of Daisy’s physical delays are to do with her global delay from the chromosome deletion and how much is down to all the other crap she has had to deal with.  Certainly being stuck in one position with no movement in her legs from 9 to 15 months can’t have helped her development.

Did you know that your hip socket is not fully formed at birth?  No neither did I. It is something that grows and develops around the femoral head with the movement of the legs.  Now that Daisy is starting to bear weight on her legs, this will help towards her hip socket developing correctly.  She has only been standing (with support) for about a month or so now, but that’s a whole other blog post.

Anyway, end of a long story, the good news is that her hip socket is developing nicely.  Phew!  Something else ticked of the list.

Huxley wants you all to know that he is working on pulling himself up so he can be a wee nosey parker.  No lying back lazing around for this little munchkin.  He particularly likes to be up at the dinner table looking longingly at the food and wondering quite when he is going to get to join in!


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