Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Basic home treatment for developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) focuses on interacting with your child and keeping him or her comfortable.
If your baby or child is wearing a harness, brace, or cast:
Other home treatment depends on the precise medical intervention used.
Pavlik harness care
Do not remove the harness and do not adjust the straps for the first 3 to 4 weeks of treatment unless your doctor tells you to. The harness holds the joint in the correct position for normal development. Removing the harness may cause the thighbone to move out of position.
Give your child a sponge bath while he or she is in the harness. Later in your child's treatment, the harness may be removed for short periods of time, such as for bathing or for cleaning the harness.
You can put your child's clothing on under the straps to prevent skin irritation. You can also pad the shoulder straps if needed.
Spica cast care
If your child's cast is made of plaster, it may need time to dry after it is first put on. Your child will likely be in a semi-sitting position and may need you to help him or her move. Turn your child at least every 2 hours for the first 24 to 48 hours to prevent uneven drying of the cast. You can use a fan to help the cast dry more quickly, but don't use heat. When you tap the cast and hear a hollow sound, it is dry.
While your child is in a spica cast:
Parental feelings and concerns
DDH is a growth and development problem that is beyond your control. Remind yourself that you did not do anything to cause this condition. Know that it takes time to manage the frequently shifting emotions that are common when your child is diagnosed with DDH. Find a doctor with whom you feel comfortable talking about any concerns you may have.
Caring for a child with DDH can be stressful. Take time to care for yourself to reduce stress and to stay healthy. When you have the energy to function well, you are able to provide the best care for your child. For more information, see the topic Stress Management.
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