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Hip-baby Disclaimer

Kaitlyn was born at 38 weeks November 30, 2002, by repeat cesarean section (because of my own dislocated hip). She is the third child and second girl. I myself was born with a dislocated left hip and had open reduction and 2 other surgeries on my hip -- although it was not found until I was 9 months old. So we had the family history and my other children were always checked closely. Thankfully, their hips are both fine. My pediatrician found Katie's hip dysplasia when she was two weeks old. We were told by the pediatrician her left hip "clicked." We were referred to a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon in the Cleveland, Ohio area, who is WONDERFUL and so kind in explaining everything to me!! Katie first saw him when she was 6 weeks old. Katie was in the "rhino cruiser harness" for 8 weeks. She had an x-ray and two ultrasounds during that time. On March 3, after her last x-ray we were told the harness did not work for her. We discontinued using it at that time. Our next step was surgery. Both of Katie's hips are affected, not just the left as we were originally told. In fact, the right one was the one the surgeon operated on first because he said it was the worst. We enjoyed hugging and holding her for four weeks. Not to mention--she loved to splash and kick in her baby bath tub!! She was admitted to Fairview Hospital in Cleveland for one week in traction on April 4, 2003. She was just 4 months old. She did wonderful!! It was hard on me to not be able to hold and cuddle her!! Her surgery was scheduled for April 11. Our plans changed the night before--she developed a fever and cold after all of that!! Our surgeon had doubted he would operate on her with the fever and chest congestion and we will probably go home and reschedule. He took a portable x-ray from the bed (as he had done when we were admitted) and we all crossed our fingers and hoped the traction had done something positive for her and maybe she could avoid surgery. The surgeon came back and told me her x-rays remained unchanged. The surgery was rescheduled for the following week because of the fever. Katie had the dye inserted in both of her hips and she had an open reduction on her right hip on April 17th. The surgeon stated he set Katie's left hip without surgery--because he could not do both hips at one time. He gave me a 20% chance that would work for her, to be just casted on the left side. The operation started at 11:30 a.m. and she came out of surgery at 4:30 P.M. -- that was the longest 5 hours of my life!!! She now has a "hot pink" hip spica cast. Her next cast change is scheduled for May 30 and the next surgery--open reduction on her left hip is scheduled for July. She is doing remarkably well and has never been bothered by the cast. I definitely look forward to her first birthday, her first step, and her being cast free!! My doctor states she will probably be casted for 6 months--she will be 10 months when she is "free"--although that seems like a long time??

Update: At Katie's cast change on May 30, the surgeon suspected "a problem" with Katie's right hip. He ordered a Cat Scan. After a couple of days, he confirmed Katie's hip had come out in the back. He consulted with another (older) Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon from another hospital and decided to wait until she is 9 months to re-operate. He assured me, he and this other doctor would operate on Katie together. On Monday, June 9, Katie was removed from the cast. Her legs and hips were sore for a few days. I felt like I had forgotten how to hold a soft, cuddly baby with little legs, not a big hard cast. (It came back real fast!) She enjoyed her first bath in almost 8 weeks, later that day! I decide to seek another opinion after this "failure". I researched Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons in my area on the Internet and found a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital that lists "hip dysplasia" as one of his special interests. I made an appointment and got in three weeks later. Armed with x-rays, ultrasounds, cat scans and reports, I took Katie to this doctor. He confirmed both hips were still out. He questioned if Katie was in her harness properly. He viewed all our x-rays and cat scans. He feels that Katie's hip came out as soon as she woke up and moved following her open reduction. We made an appointment for Katie to have bilateral arthograms on July 15 and a possible closed reduction. He stated she would either come home with Band-Aids or a cast. She came home with Band-Aids. Both hips would not go in with a closed reduction. The plan for this fall is to have another open reduction on her right hip and a closed on her left hip.

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