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Madelynn Grace was born full-term on her due date of April 3, 2003. She is our first child, and of a normal and happy pregnancy. Her only risk factors for DDH were being the first born and a girl.

Our daughter Madelynn, currently 15 months, was diagnosed with DDH of the left hip at 10 months. Her regular doctor heard a clicking noise in her hip at her routine check up. The doctor also found that Madelynnís left leg was shorter than the right and didnít have as much strength either. The doctor took x-rays right then to see what was wrong. We were told her hip was not forming correctly and she needed to be seen right away. She referred us to a pediatric orthopedic specialist.

I took Madelynn to the orthopedic specialist a few weeks later and not knowing what to expect, was faced with the most horrible news. The doctor diagnosed her with DDH of the left hip. Her hip was completely dislocated and she had to have an open reduction. She would be in a cast for 12 weeks with a cast change at 6 weeks. After that she would be in a brace for a period of time.

I, as most parents, was devastated to hear this news. I was so glad that my mom went to the appointment with us because I was unable to drive home. When I called my husband to tell him, I could hardly talk because I was in tears.

The open reduction of the left hip was scheduled for March 3, 2004, the exact day she turned 11 months old. We were told the surgery would take approximately 4 hours. She would be under anesthesia of course and would be groggy afterwards. The surgery only ended up taking about 2 hours. The hip went back into place on the first try so the doctor was very pleased. Madelynn had to stay one horrible night in the hospital. It wasnít bad enough that she has the surgery, but then to have terrible treatment from hospital staff didnít help matters. We were not put in the Childrenís Hospital as we should have been for the stay because of the RSV virus. She was in an overflow wing with nurses that seemed to know nothing of pediatrics, much less to tell my husband and I how to handle her.

Two weeks after the cast was put on Maddy had a CAT scan. The results of this were also very positive.

The cast change came on April 14, 2004. She went from a pink cast to a dark purple one. The hospital service was a lot better this time around. We actually did get to recover in the Childrenís Hospital.

The cast just came off, hopefully for good on May 27, 2004. We were happy to have the cast off, but sad to see the damage done to her skin. Her skin was dry, flaky, and was rubbed raw in spots from the cast. Maddy had x-rays which confirmed the hip did stay in place and was starting to form well. They same day she was fitted for a Rhino brace. She currently has to wear the brace for 22 hours a day for about 8 months. We will return to the doctor at the end of July to check her progress.


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