Our Hip Dysplasia Journeys

Read about our hip dysplasia journeys


I am a mum of two beautiful girls – Ariana and Angelina. My youngest daughter Angelina was diagnosed with DDH at 12.5 months old. Below is her story so far.
Our family has been on a huge journey since Angelina was diagnosed. Our ultimate goal is that no other child or family has to experience what we (particularly Angelina) have been through. DDH can be diagnosed and treated easily in most cases if discovered in early infancy. It should not go undiagnosed! We look forward to the day when we can shout ‘Hip Hip Hooray’ and say goodbye to Angelina’s hip journey.

This is Angelina’s DDH journey….

On the January 27th 2015 we had Angelinas 12 month health nurse appointment. She was in fact 12.5 months by this appointment.
When Angelina was being checked by the nurse I noticed that when lying down with her legs bent up that one leg sat higher than the other. I didnt say anything to the nurse.
Upon getting home I took off Angelinas clothes to have a better look. When her legs were stretched out one leg was noticeably longer than the other. Her leg rolls were also not symmetrical. I knew something was very wrong.

I immediately booked a GP appointment. We were referred for an X-ray which happened on Tuesday 3rd February. At this X-ray I was given the disc of the images. I looked at them as soon as I got home. My fears were confirmed.

Wednesday morning I had our GP calling us wanting to refer us to an Orthopaedic surgeon ASAP.

He referred us to Professor Leo Donnan, the head of orthopaedics at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
We saw him on Friday 6th February. He confirmed that Angelina would require surgery, be in a spica cast for 3 months and then be in a rhino brace after that. It would be a long journey he said that will continue for many years.

Surgery was scheduled for February 23rd. It felt like we had to wait an eternity for this day to arrive.
My husband and I didnt sleep properly for those two weeks. We felt sick that no one had picked this up sooner, and I blamed myself for not noticing sooner.

Surgery day arrived. Angelina required an open reduction and a medial osteotomy. Her surgery took a long three hours. I was allowed to go to her in recovery. Half of her body was in a heavy cast and she had tubes and wires everywhere. She was completely out to it and was on morphine. A very overwhelming sight.
The week was long in hospital and a terrible experience. The hospital and staff were all brilliant. It was just awful seeing Angelina in pain and discovering that she could no longer move.
It was so lovely leaving the hospital on the 27th of February.

It has been a huge learning curve since getting home. Trying to figure out how to entertain our once mobile toddler, trying to keep the cast clean and dry, and trying to keep life as normal as possible for our other daughter.

We returned to St Vincents Private hospital on April 13th for a day procedure. Angelina was put under anaesthetic for a cast change and an X-ray. The X-ray confirmed that Angelina’s hip was stable and that her bone growth was progressing nicely (hooray!).

On the 25th of May – Angelinas cast came off after 13 very long weeks! Angelina has been put into a rhino cruiser brace. We are very much looking forward to Angelina’s hip journey being over and being able to say “Hip Hip Hooray!”

The beautiful Angelina


I am a mum to two boys, Harrison and Oliver. Our youngest son was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 4 months of age. This is his story so far.

At 4 days old, Oliver had a mandatory hearing test. It was detected that he was deaf in his right ear. Obviously this was very devastating but he was perfect and healthy and we knew there are worse things out there.

At Oliver’s 2 month Maternal Health check-up the nurse stated that Oliver’s creases in his legs didn’t match and that she would keep an eye on it. I went home thinking “they’re just rolls in his legs, he is a growing baby”.

At Oliver’s 4 month check-up, we had a different Maternal Health nurse and she mentioned that his creases in his legs weren’t matching. We already had an appointment with a pediatrician as Oliver was favouring his good ear up, his neck was stiff and he was tilting to one side and couldn’t do tummy time because of all of this. The pediatrician advised us that something was wrong and referred us for an ultra-sound. One week later it was confirmed that there was an issue with Oliver’s hips and an urgent appointment was made with the Royal Children’s Hospital.  It took 3 weeks to get into our “urgent” appointment.

Oliver had another ultrasound at Royal Childrens Hospital and it was discovered that his left hip was dislocated. It was confirmed he had Hip Dysplasia. He was put into a hip brace, which is also known as a Denis Browne Bar. He had to wear this 24/7 and could only be sponged bathed. The doctors believed that because he was deaf in his right ear, Oliver always favoured his good ear up to hear, therefore tilting his body up and given my family history (I had Hip Dysplasia as a baby) he had a greater risk of developing Hip Dysplasia.

The first two weeks were horrible. Our poor little baby was so uncomfortable. My husband and I were walking zombies. Thank goodness it got easier and we were lucky that he was an easy-going baby.

Unfortunately for Oliver, he did not enjoy tummy time with his brace and wasn’t mobile with the brace and ended up with a flat head. This resulted in him having to wear a helmet to help re-shape his head. Apparently this is quite common for babies who are braced for Hip Dysplasia at a young age.

When Oliver was roughly 6 months old he was required to wear his brace 23/7 and could have a bath/have the brace off for an hour.

At 8 months, Oliver was able to have his brace off for 1-2 hours each day. He was so motivated and started to learn how to commando crawl, even with his brace on!!

At 9 months, Oliver went down to night time bracing. (YAY!) He is a little trooper and is now commando crawling everywhere and we can’t believe how quick he is.

At 10 months, Oliver became brace free!! HIP HIP HOORAY! Since becoming brace free Oliver started to pull him self up on furniture. You can see he just wants to chase his older brother Harrison.

Cheeky Oliver