Life doesn’t always go to plan and that was the case when my son, Lucas, was diagnosed with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) at four months. It’s ‘in the family’ so maybe I should have been prepared, but I wasn’t. I fell apart, wished it was me rather than him suffering, pushed people away, got angry, protected my boys but we got though the journey, just.
In his short life Lucas has spent over a year in casts and had more operations, scans, x-rays, injections and prodding than I care to remember. BUT today he is a happy and healthy five-year old and you would never know to look at him just how brave and spirited he has been. I love my son and am so proud of this little boy who can run and jump and scoot just like his brother (who adores him and never once complained of the upheaval and fuss) and I try not to say ‘be careful’ too often.
The news for Lucas is good for another eight months; his hip is working and growing as it should and his femurs are the same length.
However one in every 1,000 children in the UK are born with DDH and whilst there is STEPS and great forums, books are limited.
That is now changing as I am currently writing a book for parents so they understand DDH, know what to expect, what to do, where to go, what to buy and I want to show them that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I also want to use this to raise awareness amongst health professionals and ensure hips are checked during the first few weeks of life to prevent unnecessary pain and disability in later years and support STEPS.
The obvious DDH signs to look for are:
- Deep unequal creases in the buttocks or thighs
- When changing a nappy one leg does not seem to move outwards as fully as the other or both legs seem restricted
- Your child crawls with one leg dragging
- Inequality in leg length
- A limp if one leg is affected or abnormal ‘waddling’ walk if both hips are affected
Please get in touch with questions or offers of help and if you can please answer my survey and you can email me via firstname.lastname@example.org