Life After the Pavlik Harness: The One Year Check

April 3, 2019

If you’re a regular reader of my blog and a follower of my Instagram profile, then you’ll know that my youngest daughter, B, was diagnosed with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips (DDH) at 6 weeks old. She was fitted with a Pavlik harness at 12 weeks old, which she wore for six weeks. B is now 12 months old and last week, we visited the hospital for an X-ray and a meeting with the orthopaedic surgeon, to check her progress.  

Clothing that can be worn over a Pavlik harness

We last saw the orthopaedic surgeon when B was six months old, so I was fairly confident of what to expect from the appointment. First of all, we took ourselves off to the radiology department for B to have a pelvic X-ray. Fortunately, we didn’t need to remove her nappy, she stayed nice and still and we were out of the room within five minutes. We then made our way across the hospital site to the children’s outpatient department.

After a long wait, we saw the orthopaedic surgeon. He examined B’s X-ray and physically examined her hips by manipulating them in different directions. The doctor told us that he’s very pleased with B’s X-ray. As you can see, the ball part of the hip joint has formed nicely on both sides, which it hadn’t yet done at six months (which is all normal). The orthopaedic surgeon was also pleased to hear that B has been standing independently and cruising around the furniture.

In fact, in the week since this appointment, B has taken her first few independent steps. Of course, I’m excited for her that she’s starting to walk, but I’m also pleased because it shows that her hips are developing well.

As for the orthopaedic surgeon, he’s told us that he’s satisfied with B’s progress and that we’ll see him again when she’s just turned two. If everything is normal at that stage, then she’ll be discharged from outpatient care. The doctor reassured me that it’s very unlikely for anything to go wrong once we’ve got to this stage, but I’m glad that they’re being extra cautious and making sure that her hips are in perfect health, before she gets any older.

When B was first diagnosed with hip dysplasia and fitted with the Pavlik harness, I was so worried about how she’d cope and whether it would work for her. We were told to expect her to wear it for at least twelve weeks. So while I was thrilled that she only needed it for six weeks, there was a bit of a niggle in the back of my mind that it might have been removed too quickly. It’s a great relief to know that her hip development is now progressing normally, and reassuring that the hospital are keeping a close eye to ensure that continues.

Now we just need to wait until next year to be sure that the Pavlik harness has done its job perfectly, and in the meantime I can preoccupy myself with two mobile children, under the age of three!

If you have any questions about the Pavlik harness or our DDH journey, please leave a comment or send me a message on Facebook or Instagram. And if you’ve found this post useful, please remember to Pin it!

A record of my daughter's hip development since having the Pavlik harness to treat Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips. #DDH #PavlikHarness

2 responses to “Life After the Pavlik Harness: The One Year Check”

  1. Cheryl says:

    My granddaughter is having her pavlik harness fitted tomorrow. I would like to understand how you and other parents managed, including dressing the baby. I live in Australia and we are going into winter
    Thank you for any information, patterns for clothing if anyone has them to share

    • Jules says:

      Hi Cheryl,

      Thank you for your comment. I hope your granddaughter is getting on well with her pavlik harness so far. We didn’t remove the harness at all, so we dressed our daughter in loose-fitting clothing over the top. It was our summer so we just used rompers that were a size or two bigger than our daughter’s actual size. You can see some examples in photographs in some of my other posts. We found that quite well. In the UK, things have come along in the years since B had her harness, and some clothing stores have started selling clothing specifically to fit over the pavlik harness. I’m not sure if that’s available in Australia though? Perhaps try searching the #pavlikharness hashtag on Instagram? I hope all goes well for your granddaughter!

      Warm wishes, Jules.

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