2% of Babies in Europe are born with birth defects that will effect their ability to survive or function normally. The most common are missing or extra fingers or toes, abnormalities in positioning – including club foot, and spinal defects such as spina bifida. Diagnosis has been revolutionised since the widespread use of ultrasound in unborn babies, and 50% can be detected before birth. Unfortunately, this was not the case for 10 month old Oscar, whose parents Natalie and Mushtaq suspected their son had dislocation of the hip. 4 in 1000 babies are born with hip dysplasia and 8 out of 10 female. This is normally detected during newborn or 6 week checks, but if you are worried your baby may have the condition, look out for one leg being slightly shorter, extra skin creases on the hip or thigh and one hip not opening as far as the other. Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Prof. Nick Clarke explains the operation, first muscles and ligaments have to be loosened up to avoid complications. When in surgery, the muscle in the groin is cut, and dye is injected into the joint, this will allow the doctor to see what is obstructing the hip joint. At this point the hip may be moved into place without surgery, however in Oscar’s case, a ligament needs to be removed for the hip to go back into place. After surgery, Oscar spends 18 weeks in plaster to ensure the joint stays in place.
Patient Name: Oscar
Condition: Developmental Dysplasia of the hip
Specialist: Professor Nicholas Clarke, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Hospital: Southampton General Hospital, NHS
Length of Treatment: 1 week in traction and approximately 1 hour in surgery.
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