This post is a bit different to my usual recipes and craft however, I thought I would post this story about my daughter Charlotte and her Hip Dysplaysia journey to raise awareness of this condition which often goes undetected.
Our Charlotte was born on 09 July 2010, 3.04 kg, 47.5cm. It was a normal natural birth with no complications.
Before we left the hospital she had all the usual newborn checks and was given a clean bill of health and we were sent home.
She was a very normal, happy baby and slept through the night from an early age. She did have an extra roll of fat on her right upper leg but we didn’t think anything of it and it was never a concern to any Dr’s or baby nurses when we went for our usual check ups. (We now know this can be a sign of DDH)
She began to walk about 14 months and everything seemed normal to us. She toddled as toddlers do and fell over a few times but nothing out of the ordinary at first.
As she got older we started to notice that she was walking with bit of limp but didn’t think anything of it until her carers at daycare started to notice and ask if anything was wrong. Charlotte also started complaining of sore hips so we decided to take her to our GP.
At first he thought there was nothing wrong but a few weeks later she was still complaining that her hips were sore so we went back and insisited on an X-ray.
We had an X-ray that day and the Dr called us before we even got home to come straight back.
That was when we found out her right hip was dislocated and she had Developmental Dysplaysia of the Hip or DDH. We were so shocked. We were lost for words and it took a while to sink in. That was February 2014. She was 3.5 years old.
The next thing we knew we were rushed in to see a paediatrician and Orthopeadic surgeon where we were told that she would need an open reduction right hip osteotomy, right femoral osteotomy, bone graft, hardware put in and that she will be in a hip spica cast for 6 weeks.
It was a lot to take in and many tears were shed. How could this happen to my baby? Why wasn’t it picked up at birth? Why didn’t we do something earlier? How is she going to cope with this? How are we going to cope? I’d never heard of this before and didn’t know anything about it or know anyone else who had gone through this before.
We were booked in for surgery on 03 July 2014. I prepared her the best I could and told her exactly what was going to happen so she was very calm on the day but my husband and I were nervous wrecks. Leaving her on that operating table was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Even though I knew she was in good hands it was still hard. It was a huge operation.
5 hours later we were able to see her in recovery. I thought I had prepared myself but seeing her in that cast for the first time was heartbreaking. I had to leave the room so she wouldn’t ‘t see my cry.
We spent six nights in hospital which meant we were in for her 4th birthday. The nurses were great and made a fuss and bought in some ice cream cake, chips, lollies and drink and we had a little party in the ward. Luckily we were sent home that day.
The next 6 weeks were tough but we got through it. The cast came off on 18 August 2014. Even though it wasn’t recommended by our Dr’s we ended up seeing a physiotherapist ourselves who has been fantastic. She was walking around a few weeks later and on the road to recovery. Or so we thought.
After a fall at daycare she began limping quite a bit. We took her back to the surgeon and he said he would do an arthrogram x-Ray. This meant day surgery where he put a camera inside her hip to have a better look.
He found that the first surgery hadn’t been as successful as we first thought. He said she would need a pelvic osteotomy this time to fix it properly. This meant another six weeks in a cast. I was absolutely shocked. I really wasn’t expecting her to need more surgery. I was devasted. How would she cope with this again? How would we all cope a second time?
Surgey was booked in for 19 Feb 2015. She was very upset to be having another cast but I prepared her as best I could. I found a book called Hope the Hip Hippo which was great. It was a very similar story to ours and Charlotte loved it. I read it to her in the weeks leading up to her surgery.
I was so nervous going in for the second surgery and so was she. This time the surgery was about 3 hours….a long three hours! This time she had a purple cast. Her favourite colour. Only four days in hospital this time and we were back home.
We were very prepared this time and we got her comfortable straight away. The next six weeks were pretty hard. Seeing to her every need as well as my 18 month old, Ryan was a challenge and our patience wore thin. I thought it would have been easier this time but I think it was harder having to run around after our son as well. Not to mention the toll it took on our backs lifting her all the time.
I have to mention my son and my husband in this story too. It was really tough for them as well but we got through it together.
As I write this it has been four weeks since the cast came off and she is doing so well this time. We are seeing the physio again once a week and she is attending school three days a week as normal.
We have a check up in June so hopefully all will be ok.
Since she was first diagnosed I have been doing some research and found some Facebook groups and links which have been fantastic. The links are below. I am also now part of the Hip Hip Hooray team. Their website is below which has all the information and advice you need about DDH. We are also trying to get a petition passed to have every baby scanned for DDH. Here is the link if you agree and would like to sign.
The Parents’ Guide to Hip Dysplasia book
Hope the Hip Hippo book
Twitter – @hiphiphoorayddh
Instagram – @hiphiphoorayddh
Hip Hip a Hooray – http://www.hiphiphoorayddh.org
Thanks so much