Brace Free (for all the wrong reasons)

This post is months overdue – which seems to be my blogging trend. Honestly, after our appointment I didn’t feel like talking about Hip Dysplasia at all, I’m mentally done with this. Unfortunately, Maura’s hips are not done.

Back in June, we had our follow up appointment. We had been in the brace for 20 weeks, 12 full time, and 8 more 18-20 hours a day. I went in to that appointment knowing that slow progress, or even no progress was a possibility. Sure enough, the Dr. confirmed my fears that her hips hadn’t progressed. What really dug into my heart though was that because of the lack of progress he thinks it’s “more likely than not” to need further surgery around age 2.5/3.

Then we got the news we had been hoping to hear – she can take the brace off during the day. This news was bitter sweet. Every time I see those sweet little legs, I don’t get to feel joy that she’s improving. I feel disappointment. I feel fear. I feel sadness.

We have a follow up again in September. We are hoping that walking deepens her hip socket on it’s own, but I don’t know how likely that is.

  • Above, is our series of X-Rays. Beginning with the top left image (pre treatment), her right hip (shown on the left side of the image) is dislocated. The ball of the femur is under developed and therefore seen smaller on the xray.
  • In the bottom left image (post reduction and 12 weeks cast) the hip hip is in the socket and the bone above is begging to grow downwards as we want it to. Essentially, because her other hip is healthy – we want the two to look alike.
  • The middle image is 12 weeks of full time bracing. You can see that the bone above the femur is slowly coming down, but isn’t symmetrical yet – at this point our Dr. felt 10% chance of surgery.
  • In the image on the right, our Dr. said he doesn’t see any progress. This is the image that shot our chance of surgery up. I struggle with this image. I keep looking back at it, and am convinced I see growth. I’m hoping that I’m right, and that at our next appointment it will be more obvious. Trying to stay hopeful.

I’ll leave off with some pictures of my brace free child doing brace free things. She is normal, and we’re going to let her be normal until we can’t. She will continue to do normal kid things, and we will keep pushing hip dysplasia into the backs of our minds until we either can’t, or we don’t have to.



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