Doctors: Hip dysplasia in babies could be related to swaddling

Doctors: Hip dysplasia in babies could be related to swaddling

WSFA/NBC - Hip problems affect as many as 15-percent of newborn babies. It can be genetic but doctors say there is an increase of hip dysplasia in babies who are swaddled incorrectly.

When six-week-old Tobin went to his first doctor's appointment, mom Kelsey had one burning question.

"That was pretty much the first question i asked my pediatricians, ok I need a referral now, how are his hips, kind of like a crazy person," Tobin's mom Kelsey Plichta says.

Plitcha wanted him checked for signs of hip dysplasia.

Tobin was more likely to develop the condition because Kelsey had it as well. It wasn't diagnosed until she was 21 and she needed two surgeries to alleviate her pain.

"I just knew the earlier it was detected the better the outcome was for them," Plitcha said.

Hip dysplasia is the abnormal formation of the hip joint. It can be genetic but doctors at Texas Scottish Rite warns poor swaddling is causing hip dysplasia in more and more infants with no family history.

"It's mind boggling that something as simple as a swaddle can cause a lifelong disability of hardship for these kids." Plitcha said. "Very commonly the doctor doing the exam can actually push the ball in and out of the socket and feel the hip to be loose."

Podeszwa says hip dysplasia can develop anytime during early childhood.

When swaddling, a baby's legs should be in a frog-like position and should have enough room to move around.

"The technique of swaddling is important so as not to swaddle with the hips in extension, in abduction, meaning they're not next to each other." Podeszwa said.

He says it's important to get treatment right away. Like Tobin, who will wear a corrective harness for the next few months.

"Tobin was born with it most likely cause of my family history but a lot of kids develop it as a result of improper swaddling, so if people are be more educated on how to properly swaddle, they also won't have to go through what i went through," Plitcha said.

If your baby's pediatrician hears a click or a snapping sensation when examining your baby's hips, the doctor will typically send you to a specialist.

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