Anybody ever heard of that?
Both of my daughters were born with it. Basically it's where the baby develops so quickly in the womb that one or both hip sockets don't form or only partially form.
We found the problem with Number One Daughter when she was four months old, and her left hip socket hadn't formed. The cup one should have on the pelvis wasn't formed, and the ball on the end of the leg bone that should be in that cup on the outside of the pelvis wasn't there either.
It turns out they are formed mostly from pressure of the compact space of the womb forcing the leg bone to be in there. Her left hip hadn't formed. At all. The first x-ray was very frightening to us, but to make a long, long, long, story short, congenital dislocated hip is not life-threatening, and it's fixable, the more so the earlier it is discovered.
All of the ways in which Lovely Wife and I are convinced that God moved in dramatic ways with these two girls as babies is the stuff of a very long post. Probably several.
Both girls were patients at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital For Children in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Roach, their pediatric orthopaedic surgeon was one of the best in the world, and every appointment had about 7 or 8 of us in an examination room because he had 4 or 5 observing pediatric orthopaedic folks from all over the world with him. Every single time. They came to learn from this man. Believe me when I tell you, if something's wrong with your kids, YOU WANT THE DOCTOR THAT EVERYONE WANTS TO LEARN FROM.
Since Number One Daughter was four months old when she was found to have this condition, she had to go through more stuff getting fixed than Number Two Daughter did. Number Two Daughter was x-rayed at only a week or so old and they were able to help her by only requiring her to wear a Pavlik Harness for a few months. The photo to the right is Number One Daughter wearing her Pavlik Harness. (I blew the exposure and almost whited her out, but you can still see the harness.) It basically held their legs in a position like a sumo wrestler squatted down ready to charge. This, and the natural figety-ness of infants caused the legs to be held in the perfect position to cause the pressure to form the needed cup and also the ball to make up a single hip socket to form on its own.
For Number One Daughter, the Pavlik Harness didn't work. The next step was that she had to be in traction for several weeks and then they put her under anesthesia, and prepared to place the hip socket surgically. While under anesthesia, they first try to manually place the leg into the proper place, and for her this worked and Dr. Roach said it felt nice and sturdy, so they didn't have to open her up in surgery. They just placed a cast on her from her waist to her ankles with an opening in the cast for calls of nature. That photo on the left is Number One Daughter in traction. We took her out to bathe and sleep, but the rest of the day for several weeks she was in this contraption to loosen up the tendons and ligaments of her hip sockets for the (possible) surgery.
Number One Daughter was in this first cast for about three months, if my memory is correct. They removed the first cast (she's in it, pictured here with me on the floor) took x-rays and were floored with how fast she was developing bone. It was happening really fast by Doc's account. So they put her in a second cast which went from her waist to her knees. She was in the second cast for about two months. After the second cast was removed, they were pretty much through, the hip had formed, and to Lovely Wife's and my untrained eyes, the x-rays looked the same from one hip to the other.
When Number Two Daughter came along a few years later, we took her to the Scottish Rite Hospital and they checked her out and found that she too had the dislocated hip. Her's was found at only about a week old, and her's wasn't as dramatically malformed as her sister's had been, so a few months in the Pavlik Harness was all Number Two Daughter had to suffer through. This photo is of NTD in her Pavlik Harness.
After they were released, we would return to the hospital with them for checkups on their hips every few months until we left Dallas and moved to the Atlanta, Georgia area in the summer of 1989.
Neither girl has had a hip problem since then.
I have to say a few words about Texas Scottish Rite Hospital For Children. I had never before, and certainly not since, been to a hospital where the people were so upbeat and positive and helpful. Hospitals have come a long way in care and simple common courtesy that didn't used to happen, but back in the mid and late 1980s the Scottish Rite Hospital was above anything I have ever seen as to quality personnel and treatment and facilities in a hospital. Not only was it the most incredible hospital and personnel I will ever see, they also handled the most horrible conditions and heartbreaking childhood orthopaedic problems you could imagine. Our girl's dislocated hips were easily the least threatening type of problem these people would see in a day's work. I'll always be grateful to them. Always.
Well, since I was on a roll scanning stuff, I thought I'd show y'all these two photos. In the first one Number One Daughter is "reading" to Number Two Daughter. NOD was at the age where we had read these books to her so many times that she would "read" them to NTD, even though she couldn't actually read yet. She would basically narrate the story, here it's about Baby Jesus, and...
...at the appropriate time, show the "readee" the pictures before she continued reading.
ADDED Saturday, September 3, 2011:
Thanks to all who have commented over the past few years. I still get occasional comments about this post and a few others on this blog. It lets me know that these few items struck a chord and that folks have had similar experiences. It's nice to hear from you, I still read new comments! Regards -- John M.