A Quick Guide To Hip Dysplasia And How To Treat It

Orthopaedic surgery includes a wide range of procedures and techniques which are essentially associated with bones and joints. Over the last few decades the technology has rapidly advanced.

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The existence of new equipment makes surgery more accurate, effective and less invasive and damaging. New knowledge, techniques and procedures have also developed and evolved along with better and longer lasting materials for joint replacements and osteotomy surgical procedures.

The operations may vary from simple and low-risk to complex and high-risk. There are several risks that can occur, but the most common concern areas are to do with the anaesthetic and potential permanent nerve damage which is often the result of highly invasive surgery.

surgeons
A surgeon; image source: pexels.com

More effective techniques help decrease these risks, improve the degree of full recovery and reduce the length of the recovery period.

Surgeons have been using the POA technique for over thirty years to treat hip dysplasia. Osteotomy involves either inserting a wedge to change and angle of a joint or bone or cutting the bone and altering its alignment. There are different variations of the technique depend on the severity of the dysplasia, the age of the patient and the damage already caused.

Hip dysplasia is typically a congenital or hereditary deformity involving the acetabulum which is found in the joint area of the pelvis and hip socket. If left untreated, hip dysplasia will cause extreme wearing to the hip joint which results in chronic hip pain, reduced mobility and even becoming wheelchair bound and unable to walk.

Diagnosis of hip dysplasia is most often through medical imaging

Initially x-rays are used to make a diagnosis but thereafter CT scans or MRI scans will be used to determine the exact nature of the deformity. Non-invasive treatment will typically be applied once the diagnosis has been made to prevent further degradation of the joint. Recovery from hip surgery requires an initial period of being non-weight bearing.

This will mean being bed bound for a few weeks after the operation and then using a wheel chair for mobility. Only after the bone begins to heal in its new position, can the patient begin to bear weight on the hip.  Extensive physiotherapy is required to build muscle strength and regain mobility. It can often be a long and painful journey to full recovery, but it is undoubtedly a preferable route compared to leaving it untreated.

Having the right physiotherapist is fundamental to the recovery process

The physio needs to be experienced in orthopaedic procedures.  Even more preferable is if the physio knows the surgeon and can discuss the details of the technique to fully understand what took place and therefore what physical therapy roadmap needs to be designed to support the degree of recovery to its fullest potential.

In preparation for hip dysplasia surgery, the patient can ensure that they are in good health. They should maintain a base level of fitness, especially cardiovascular fitness.  This will help reduce the risks of the anaesthetic and improve the recovery time post-surgery.  If it is difficult to exercise due to chronic pain they should try non-weight bearing activities such as swimming, rowing and cycling.

 

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