Does PT help hip dysplasia?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the treatment of developmental hip dysplasia (DDH) in babies and children. It is an essential component of the overall care plan for these patients, helping them achieve age-appropriate milestones and promoting optimal development.

One of the primary goals of physical therapy in DDH is to improve hip joint stability and alignment. This is achieved through a variety of exercises and techniques that focus on strengthening the muscles around the hip joint. By doing so, physical therapy helps to support the hip joint and prevent further dislocation or subluxation.

In addition to improving hip stability, physical therapy also helps babies and children with DDH develop essential motor skills. These skills include rolling over, crawling, standing, and walking. Physical therapists use a variety of techniques to encourage and facilitate the progression of these skills, tailored to the individual needs and abilities of each child.

One common technique used in physical therapy for DDH is the Pavlik harness. This specialized brace is often prescribed to keep the hips in the correct position while allowing for movement and growth. Physical therapists work closely with parents and caregivers to ensure proper harness positioning and to teach them how to safely dress, diaper, and handle their child while wearing the harness.

Another aspect of physical therapy for DDH is education and guidance for parents. Physical therapists provide valuable information about proper positioning, handling, and carrying techniques to optimize hip development. They also offer advice on selecting appropriate toys and equipment that promote healthy hip positioning.

Physical therapy for DDH is typically provided on an ongoing basis, often for several months or even years. The frequency and duration of therapy sessions may vary depending on the severity of the hip dysplasia and the individual needs of the child. Regular follow-up appointments are essential to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.

Personal experiences and situations can vary greatly in the context of DDH and its treatment. However, it is important to highlight the positive impact that physical therapy can have on the lives of children with DDH. Through dedicated therapy sessions and consistent home exercises, many children are able to overcome the challenges posed by hip dysplasia and achieve their developmental milestones.

To summarize, physical therapy is a crucial component of the treatment plan for developmental hip dysplasia. It helps improve hip joint stability, facilitates the development of motor skills, and provides valuable education and guidance for parents. With the help of physical therapy, children with DDH can make significant progress and achieve age-appropriate milestones.