The typical hip joint consists of a ball and socket. Ball in the upper portion of the thigh bone called as femur and the socket called as acetabulum. The ball fits into the socket and the joint also facilitates easy movement and rotation. If the ball gets dislocated from the socket or become loose in children then it called as developmental dysplasia of hip where the word dysplasia represents displacement and in short this is termed as DDH.
DDH could develop during the birth itself and is the common one, but might also develop during the childs first year after birth. Swaddling tightly with the knees is considered as the main cause of the development. The concave portion in the socket become shallower or the ligaments keeping the ball fastened to the socket get more stretched and loose causing DDH. There are three distinct types of DDH:
- The extreme case of DDH might be the result of ball coming completely out of the socket and this come under dislocated type.
- The ball might be so loosely fit in the socket that it might get dislocated even while physical dislocation and this called as the dis-locatable.
- The third type where the ball is not fit properly in the socket which could be put in place by the able hands of a doctor during physical examination and this type is called as Subluxatable.
The most common symptoms are
- Uneven length of the legs
- Folds in the skin over the thigh region looking abnormal or uneven
- Reduced mobility in one leg than the other
- Unnatural way of walking
Both surgical and non-surgical treatments are available for DDH. Non-surgical treatment involve using a harness type of covering over the affected joint and keeping that portion immobile after placing the ball exactly in position. The harness will be designed in such a manner that it would not disrupt the regular activities. If the non-surgical treatment fails to keep the ball in place inside the socket then surgical treatment is resorted to.