Hip dysplasia is a condition that affects the muscles and bones. It occurs when the top of the femur does not correctly fit into the hip bone's socket. This makes a baby's hip joint loose and more likely to get hurt.
The good news is that the condition doesn't hurt. Hip dysplasia is treated in some way for about 1 out of every 100 babies. And only one or two babies out of every 1,000 are born with their hips entirely out of place.
It is a common problem with hips in babies. It happens more often in girls, first-born children, children born in the breech position, children with oligohydramnios (not enough fluid around the baby during pregnancy), and children with a history of hip problems in their family.
There are several reasons why:
Hip dysplasia in babies is often found during regular health checks right after birth or soon after birth. It can be hard to find because, like many other conditions, it is "silent." Your baby won't cry out in pain, and it usually doesn't stop babies from learning to walk. However, you should be aware of several visible indicators of hip dysplasia and discuss them with your child's doctor.
We usually think of adults as having joints that crack, but if an infant's hip clicks or pops, it could be a sign of hip dysplasia. Listen up! When a baby's hips are out of place, many parents and caregivers say there is a clear sound.
Parents of babies with hip dysplasia often find it hard to change their diapers because their hips don't move as much and can't fully spread. Talk to your child's doctor if you are worried.
Tell your baby's pediatrician if you see something strange on their bottom. An ultrasound or X-ray will need to be done to find out if the hips are normal or not.
If both hips are out of place, the baby may have a "swayback" after they start walking. In other words, it might look like your child has an exaggerated limp that doesn't hurt. The limp may also look like one leg is longer than the other. At first, most toddlers walk strangely, so this sign can be a little harder to spot.
Here are some things or habits that can cause developmental hip dysplasia in babies, as well as what you can do to avoid or change them:
Because traditional swaddling keeps the legs close together and straight, it can cause hip dysplasia. If you want to avoid hip dysplasia but still swaddle your baby, ensure the blanket is loose around the legs so the knees can be spread and the hips can move freely.
There are many different kinds of baby carriers; some are safe for the hips while others are not. When you wear your baby in a carrier, be careful. The hips of your baby should be in a squat position. As a result, their hips are wide apart, and their knees are at or above the level of their bottoms when they are bent. Their thighs must be long enough to wrap around your midsection.
Similar to how some slings can even curl a baby's legs together to mimic their position in the womb, other slings can also be used to carry a newborn. This keeps the hips and knees from being open and moving freely. Always choose a baby sling that is wrapped so the baby's legs can hang down and the thighs can be supported.
Some baby sleep gowns are too tight around the legs, like swaddling. This keeps the legs straight and doesn't give the hips room to move. Choose one loose enough to let your baby's knees spread out and hips move around.
Limit babies' time in seats that keep their legs fixed and closed. If you are worried about your child's hips, you should talk to your specialist doctor.
Remember that most infants with hip dysplasia have excellent outcomes and learn to walk at the typical age after receiving therapy. Most don't have to limit what they can do later in life, and because they are more flexible, they often do well in sports, dance, and gymnastics. Even though your baby may have to go to the doctor more often and face some problems early on because of hip dysplasia, they will probably grow out of it and have a normal childhood.