Essay online on A Letter to the Parents of the Child with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

We are ready to inform you of your child’s diagnosis. The results of testing proved the fact that young daughter Anny Smith, aged 3 months old who is suffering from hip pain has got Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH). When your baby was born, Dr. Green, your daughter’s doctor, checked your baby’s hips. He heard a clicking sound and decided to check your baby in 2 weeks in order to examine it more closely. In most cases, the clicking sound should go away in 2 to 4 weeks, but, in your case, the clicking sound is still heard. It is known that in most cases, this health problem does not show up at birth and the first signs of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip may be found as the baby gets older. That is why it is the duty of the doctor to examine the baby’s legs and hips each time when you visit your child’s doctor. During the last examination, Dr. Green has found that your daughter’s thigh bones are loose in the hip socket. Dr. Green is sure that your daughter Anny may have a serious problem with her hips. The results of an X-ray proved this fact. That is why Dr. Green recommended consulting a bone specialist, or orthopedist. I am Dr. Brown, an experienced bone specialist and I am ready to provide effective medical assistance to your daughter Anny.

In order to give the appropriate advice concerning treatment methods for this disease, we are ready to provide an overview of DDH which will help you to better understand the significant role of the proper treatment and possible negative consequences of this disease for your daughter Anny.


            It is known that Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) is one of the most important health problems, affecting approximately one to two children per 1000 live births, in accordance with Cooke and Kiely (2011, p. 1). It is necessary to remember that delayed diagnosis always leads to the greater need for operative intervention. It means the later the diagnosis is made by the doctors, the more major the surgery required to reduce possible complications of hip dysplasia in a baby. In your case, Anny has a chance to avoid surgery because her hip disorder can be treated in the early stage.

The medical term Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip is used to identify the hip dysplasia of babies and children. This condition can be developed after the birth of the baby. This disease is focused on general instability or the so-called looseness of the child’s hip joint. In some cases, doctors use the following terms for this condition: Hip Dislocation, Acetabular Dysplasia or Congenital Dislocation of the Hip.

The major types of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

It is found that Hip dysplasia has different types of severity: normal, subluxation, low dislocation and high dislocation. In some cases, the ligaments around the child’s hip joint are very loose and they lead to the hip’s subluxation. It means that the ball will not be in the center of the hip socket. In other cases, the ball can be slightly or, in some cases, completely dislocated from the hip socket.

The major causes of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

In order to define the major causes of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip, it is necessary to give explanation to the processes that occur in case of this condition. The ligaments play an important role in the process of movement. These strong bands of tissue are used to connect your child’s bones at the joint. However, in some cases, the thigh bone may not fit securely in the hip socket because the ligaments of the hip joint may be loose or stretched (Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip, 2012, p. 1). Your daughter Anny has the same problems. As a consequence of this disorder, the depth of Anny’s hip socket cannot develop normally. As Anny is your first-born baby, she has got this type of disorder. However, she has problems with her left hip. There are many cases, when babies have similar problems with both hips. The statistical data proves the fact that due to the way most fetuses are positioned inside the mother’s uterus, the left hip is affected 3 times more often than the right hip (Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip, 2012, p. 1).

Patient’s signs and symptoms

As a rule, Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip in babies can be diagnosed by means of the following symptoms: hip click, assymetrical buttock, limited range of motion of the baby, pain, and swayback (Agarwal & Gupta, 2012, p. 11).

The appropriate diagnostic exams that may assist with diagnosis of disease

It is found that today doctors use not only physical exams, but also imaging, including ultrasound or X-rays to diagnose Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip in babies. Of course, the most widely used standard practice is to carry out physical exams for newborns and babies for the diagnosis of hip dysplasia. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of an ultrasound study for almost all baby girls who were in the breech position or bottom-first position (Cooke & Kiely, 2011, p.1). As a rule, this type of exam is carried out when a baby is 6 weeks of age. The third type of hip exam is an X-ray. It is often recommended at 3-4 months of age or even older. As Anny is 3 months, this type of hip exam has been done by your doctor, and the results proved this diagnosis.

Some healthcare specialists consider that Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip can be rather difficult to diagnose, in case both hips of the baby are affected. The doctors call it bilateral because the hips are symmetrical. In the early stage, the hips could be just a little bit loose, but then they get worse and worse as the baby gets older and older. It is very important for your daughter Anny to get the appropriate treatment in the early stage in order to avoid negative consequences of this disease. In Anny’s case, only one hip is affected. That is why it was much easier to identify the affected hip because the doctor could easily compare it to the other normal hip. I should say that in many cases, hip dislocations can be developed in older babies even if the infant hip exam was normal, without any complications, and the ultrasound exam done at the age of six weeks was also normal. Unfortunately, the causes of these late developing cases of Hip Dysplasia remain unknown to medicine (Cooke & Kiely, 2011, p.2).

Babies at increased risk for Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

The statistical data shows that as a rule, newborns and babies are at increased risk for Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip in the following situations: First, the baby is one of the twins. Second, the newborn was in a breech position at birth. Third, Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip is a genetic disorder (Agarwal & Gupta, 2012, p. 11).

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