The first year of a baby’s life can be an exciting time for the parents. The first year is also an important developmental time for the baby. In their first year, a baby has many visits to a pediatrician for wellness checks to spot any developmental concerns that might prevent a healthy childhood. One of those concerns that a pediatrician looks for in that first year of life is dysplasia of the hip. About 1 in 1,000 babies have hip dysplasia.
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is the dislocation of the hip present at birth or in the first three to four months of life. In this condition, the top of the thighbone doesn’t fit securely into the hip socket. This problem may affect one or both hip joints. In a normal hip, the thigh bone fits tightly into a cup-shaped socket in the pelvis, and it is held in place by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. But in DDH, the hip socket may be too shallow or the tissues around the joint may be too loose.
Doctors should check your baby for signs of hip dysplasia shortly after birth and during well-baby and any other visits that first and second year of life. Symptoms of DDH may include asymmetrical folds of the buttocks, hip clicks or pops, one leg shorter than the other, and delayed walking. If a doctor identifies a displaced hip early, generally within the first six months of life, treatment is usually non-evasive and non-surgical. If there is a delayed diagnosis of more than six months, treatment can be more involved with surgery and a spica cast, which includes the trunk of the body and one or more legs. In children 2 years or older with DDH, deformity of the hip and osteoarthritis may develop later in life. DDH can also lead to pain and osteoarthritis by early adulthood.
Failure to diagnose developmental dysplasia of the hip claim
During the first two years of baby’s life, pediatrician saw baby no less than 8 times and never diagnosed DDH. On the 9th visit, the pediatrician diagnosed unilateral congenital hip subluxation, but determined no treatment was needed. Nineteen days after his second birthday, baby was diagnosed with significant acetabular dysplasia that had been going on for some time. The delay in diagnosis of DDH resulted in invasive surgery and a spica cast for severe developmental dysplasia of the hip. Child now has the risk of developing hip problems and osteoarthritis later in life. Case pending.