Child Orthopedics

Frequently Asked Questions

My wife and I are planning to adopt a nine-year-old girl from a third world country. She has a dislocated hip from a fall that was never treated properly. What are the chances of treating something like this?

Traumatic dislocation of the hip in children is a rare problem. There aren't a lot of studies on this condition. The long-term results of treatment are unknown. A recent report from Nepal suggested traction first and then surgery if that doesn't work.

Traction is used to pull the hip down and help guide it back into the socket. If that doesn't work, then open surgery to do the same thing can be tried. The operation is called an open reduction. Other operations are possible but have more potential problems compared to an open reduction.

The decision must be made based on the child's symptoms, physical findings, X-ray results, and the desires of the family. If the child has no pain but limps when walking, treatment may be different than if the child is already handicapped by the condition with pain, loss of motion, and loss of function.

Ashok Kumar Banskota, MD, et al. Open Reduction for Neglected Traumatic Hip Dislocation in Children and Adolescents. In Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. March 2007. Vol. 27. No. 2. Pp. 187-191.

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