I am pleased to report that Lucy and I had a very positive trip to the hospital this morning. It was supposed to be the day her spica came off but because that got taken off two weeks early we just had to have an x-ray done to check on the hip’s progress.
As much as I hated that awful spica, it seemed to achieve good things! The angle of Lucy’s left acetabulum went from being a very bad 38 degrees in January (6 months old) to measuring a much more stable 24 degrees today (10 months old). One of the mum’s in the DDH Parent Support Western Australia group took a sneaky pic of the angles chart at Princess Margaret Hospital. According to this chart, 21 degrees (plus or minus 3) is the normal angle for babies her age. This means that both her hips are now in the normal range – woohoo!
I know that it is possible for the hip socket to regress (as I’ve already seen with Lucy) and for this reason I am “happy” to keep Lucy in her Rhino brace for a few more weeks. The downer for me this morning was that I had been told by one of the specialists that she would be in the brace for 6 weeks full-time and 6 weeks nights and naps, but the specialist we saw this morning is a 3-month man: he prefers a minimum period of three months per treatment type.
He said that by the time babies reach the age of two, their bones are no longer plasticine or malleable enough for any form of bracing to be effective. From that point on, surgery is required to correct any problems. So, while it is still possible to mould Lucy’s hips, we’ll persevere with the Rhino brace and hope that it will do the trick.
Lucy is so much happier in the Rhino and her favourite time of the day (other than meal times) is when she gets to splash in the bath. Her legs are getting stronger by the hour, she is sitting beautifully, kicking madly, holding her toes at every opportunity and far less cranky when made to do tummy time. We are slowly giving her some brace-free play time which she absolutely loves!
Our hipster bub is making progress!