The proper functioning of the hip joint is essential for basic movement
and for overall quality of life. While hip problems are often associated
with older adults who have arthritis, they can also affect children and
infants. Hip dysplasia refers to the instability and dislocation of the
hip joint. Most often, it is present at birth, although it may develop
during the first year of the child's life. In some cases, the failure
of a physician to diagnose and properly treat hip dysplasia may constitute an act of
The presence of hip dysplasia by itself does not always indicate medical
negligence; sometimes, the hip joint has simply failed to develop properly.
Developmental hip dysplasia is more common among girls, first-born children,
those with a family history of the condition, and cases that involve low
levels of amniotic fluid. It can also occur more frequently in newborns
born in the breech position. Medical organizations now recommend that
all breech-born newborns be given an ultrasound to check for hip dysplasia.
different degrees of severity of hip dysplasia. Some children might not demonstrate noticeable symptoms. Parents might
only notice that something is wrong when the baby has legs of different
lengths, reduced flexibility and mobility on one side, or uneven skin
folds on the thigh. As the child grows older and begins to walk, he or
she might limp or otherwise take on an abnormal gait.
Developmental hip dysplasia is best treated as soon as possible. When
this condition is present at birth, it is incumbent upon the attending
medical staff to detect the problem and recommend appropriate treatments.
If the condition is detected at birth, the newborn is placed into a Pavlik
harness, which is a soft positioning device that holds the hip joints
in the proper positions while they develop.
Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, our medical malpractice lawyers approach every case with the dignity
and sensitivity that patients deserve. If your child has birth injuries
or may have suffered from other forms of pediatric medical malpractice,
you can speak with one of our medical malpractice attorneys in Long Island,
New York. Call (516) 858-2194 today for a free consultation.