Cuteness overload! These adorable babies are not just posing with their lovely Mommies in a sweet picture. They are a part of something much more. Bec and Jessica are co founders of Hip Hip Hooray, a website raising awareness for Hip Dysplasia. After both of their children were diagnosed, they decided to create CHANGE. We spoke to Bec and Jessica about Hip Hip Hooray and how it is providing awareness and support to families.
Jess, would you mind sharing with us Angelina’s DDH journey?
At 12.5 months of age Angelina was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia. I was at Angelina’s health nurse appointment when I noticed something wasn’t quite right. Sadly the health nurse failed to pick up the hip dysplasia despite checking for it and Angelina showing very obvious signs of having hip dysplasia.
An x-ray confirmed that Angelina had a fully dislocated left hip. Her surgeon said that it had been like this for quite some time, and it is possible it had been since birth.
Treatment began within a couple of weeks of being diagnosed. Angelina had two surgeries – an open reduction and an osteotomy. She was then put in a spica cast for thirteen weeks. This cast went from her armpits to her ankles with just a small cutout for a nappy.
Angelina is now in a rhino brace for an unknown amount of time. Apart from nappy changes and bath time, Angelina spends every minute of every day in this brace.
Her surgeon is unable to tell us how well her treatment will go. It all comes down to how well she grows and develops. We pray every day that Angelina will not need any more surgery. It already saddens us that she has had to go through this whole process when it could have been treated easily if the hip dysplasia had of been diagnosed at a younger age.
Quite frankly we feel robbed of her enjoying her early toddler-life. A condition that can be so easily treated was left undiagnosed. Six different health professionals checked Angelina from birth to 12.5 months old and not one of them picked it up. Why is this so???? This is why we wanted to create awareness!
Bec, would you mind sharing with us Oliver’s DDH Journey?
Oliver’s case was found at 4 months of age. Oliver was born deaf in his right ear. This was detected and diagnosed when he was 4 days old through the screening program that is run through the hospital. Every time Oliver had tummy time or floor play he would favour his good ear up therefore always tilting his left hip up., his neck was also stiff too (which later we also found out that this can be another risk factor for hip dysplasia). Our maternal health nurse first noticed that Oliver’s creases in his legs weren’t matching up (at his 2 month check up and we have a family history of DDH). At Oliver’s 4 month health nurse check up we had a different nurse and she informed us his leg creases weren’t matching up so informed us to get this look at further. So we went and got an ultrasound and it showed that Oliver had a mild dislocated left hip. Oliver wore a hip brace 24/7 for two months and then 23/7 for three months.
Oliver didn’t enjoy tummy time after getting the brace fitted and was always on his back, which then resulted in Oliver getting a flat head. In Feb 2015 Oliver was fitted with a helmet. In March, we were told that Oliver was only required to wear his brace at night time. As of April, Oliver became brace free and in May Oliver also became helmet free. He will have to have screenings on his hips for the rest of his life. This has been an overwhelming experience for us as a family and we hope to raise awareness to help and support other families.
How did you both meet and come up with this amazing website?
We are actually sisters. Bec had hip dysplasia when she was little and had to wear a brace for 19 months. No one had advised us that our kids could be diagnosed with this condition because of the family history. Essentially, we had no clue about hip dysplasia despite Bec having it as a baby.
When our children were diagnosed with the condition we went searching for information. There is very little good quality information available. A website was a huge goal for us. We wanted to make useful information about hip dysplasia available to families in one convenient location.
Can you tell our readers what hip dysplasia is?
Hip Dysplasia also known as ‘Developmental Dysplasia of the hip (DDH)’ is a condition that affects the hip joints in babies, young children and some adults.
What are some of the signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia?
Some common signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia can include:
• Click or clunk during hip examination
• Uneven leg creases
• Limited range of movement/stiff hip joint
• Difference in leg lengths
• Crooked buttock crease
• Exaggerated limp
• Dragging of leg whilst crawling
• Knee(s) turning outwards
Tell us about healthy hip swaddling…
When swaddling your baby it is recommended that your baby’s legs have enough room to move freely. Their legs should be bent with the knees apart (‘froggy position’). Having a baby’s legs straightened in a swaddle can be a contributing risk factor to developing hip dysplasia as it can loosen the joints and damage the soft cartilage of the hip socket. For more information please visit our website:http://www.hiphiphoorayddh.org/hip-dysplasia-information/healthy-hip-swaddling/
Tell us about Hip Hip Hooray’s Mission…
We wanted to make a difference. We wanted to create, help, support and educate families about Hip Dysplasia. Our driving force was to turn our negative experience into a positive experience, so we began a campaign to raise awareness about Hip Dysplasia.
When our children were diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia all we wanted was information. What is it? Why has this happened? What can be done? Will there be long term problems? The list is endless. We had difficulty finding good quality, up to date information to answer all of our questions.
The aim of Hip Hip Hooray is to provide a hub of information and support to parents/carers and their family members. We endeavour to create awareness about Hip Dysplasia and want to see parents educated about the risk factors and signs/symptoms of Hip Dysplasia.
Our petition for Mandatory Screening is still running. We have since added that we want an education program for parents put in place to educate about Hip Dysplasia/Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH). It needs to cover the common risk factors and signs/symptoms of DDH to ensure that parents know what to look for to diagnose DDH as early as possible. We have only had one vague response from Sussan Ley (Australian Minister for Health) as well as other State Health Ministers. We have had over 6000 people sign our petition to date.
Our website launched on the 1st of June. It is a helpful resource for parents and caregivers who have a child diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia, or even just anyone wanting to learn more about Hip Dysplasia. The launch of our website coincides with June International Hip Dysplasia Awareness month.
We ask you to please help us create awareness for Hip Dysplasia!