Archie Andrew is now 21 months old, he was late being diagnosed with DDH in his left hip at 18 months old. This is Archie’s DDH treatment story:
When Archie was born he passed all checks including the hip checks. All appointments with his health visitor went amazingly and was continuing to show no signs of any hip issues.
Archie began showing signs when he started to walk between 12-13 months old. The sign that stood out most to me was that Archie walked flat-footed on his right foot but tiptoed on his left. I contacted his GP and after a long wait, I received an appointment at the hospital for him to have an x-ray. The x-ray showed Archie’s left hip was not where it should be and it was then in December 2020 he was diagnosed with DDH.
Following his diagnosis I did my research about DDH because I had never heard of it before and that was when I came across the STEPS charity. I was unaware of how many children do suffer from hip conditions and how many different hip conditions there are and how late some are diagnosed and I think it’s very important that we raise awareness for all types of hip conditions and the vital signs to look out for to enable children to get the medical help they need to prevent any further issues for them later in life.
In December 2020 when Archie was diagnosed, I was informed on the day that Archie would require surgery to alter his hip. If Archie didn’t have the surgery he would be in a lot of pain and discomfort as he gets older and could potentially develop further issues. I was also informed he would be having metal work in his hip meaning that 1 year later he would require another operation to have the metal work removed. I was also told that he would be in cast for 3 months. His first cast would be a spica cast for 6 weeks followed by a broomstick cast for a further 6 weeks.
Archie was booked in for his operation on February 18th 2021. It was a very stressful time as with covid Archie was having to have covid tests before going for x rays and before his operation to be certain his operation could go ahead.
In the run-up to Archie’s operation I also joined the steps charity support page on Facebook which was incredible, I received so much support from other parents going through the same or similar situations as I was with their child/ children. I was given so much advice on how to prepare for the hospital stay and when we would get back home.
On the day of Archie’s operation we arrived at stoke hospital for 7:30 am and he went to theatre for 9am. His operation lasted a long 5 and a half hours BUT there was some really good news, it turned out Archie didn’t need any metal work which was originally the plan for him! He returned to the ward very sleepy and had an epidural to help control any pain.
In total Archie was in hospital for 4 nights, 2 of those were very hard on Archie as he experienced a lot of muscle spasms when trying to sleep which was very upsetting for him as it was causing him some discomfort and disturbing his sleep.
The day we returned home the hospital gave us the transport to get back, Archie was in his spica cast which meant he couldn’t sit in the car seat. I purchased Archie a big bean bag in the run-up to his operation which came in very useful as it enabled him to sit up as much as possible but most importantly to be comfortable.
Originally Archie was put down for a spica chair to be loaned to him, however, the spica chairs that were tried for him just wasn’t the right ones for him.
Throughout the first 6 weeks in his spica cast Archie was his happy usual self and adapted very quickly to the cast to the point in the final two weeks he was almost army crawling on the floor in it!
The first 6 weeks went by so Archie was back at the hospital to have his spica cast taken off in April 2021 to have his Broomstick cast put on. This meant Archie had to go under anaesthetic to have it changed as x rays needed to be carried out too. This took 2 hours and then Archie was back on the ward. When the anaesthetic wore off Archie was extremely happy to be able to sit up properly on his own in his new cast. Later that day when Archie had drank and ate we were allowed back home only this meant Archie could go in his car seat as his consultant said it was safe to do so so Archie was one very happy boy as he loves being in the car!
When we arrived back home again Archie adapted very quickly to his new cast, Archie was able to be just that little bit more mobile on his own in his broomstick cast so he was crawling around the best he could in no time and after only a couple of weeks Archie was even standing up!
After the final 6 weeks were over Archie was back at the hospital to have x rays to see how his hip is getting on and to have his second and final cast removed. It was a quick process and after just an hour in the hospital, his cast was off and we were going back home. I was given a hip brace for Archie which he had to sleep in for 4 weeks to prevent Archie from waking up in any pain after being asleep for so long and not moving his hip.
Archie was having x rays every two weeks for the first few months after having his cast finally off and they all came back really good!
At this point Archie also began having physiotherapy at home. A physiotherapist came to our home once a week to do a range of exercises for Archie to help with the stiffness and movement of his hip. Physiotherapy helped Archie so much to get back on his feet walking again. After a year of physiotherapy, Archie was then discharged!
Now Archie runs everywhere he never walks and his appointments to check his hip development are now every 6 months. He has come such a long way and it just goes to show the sooner children get the medical help they require for hip issues the better it is for them!
We don’t take walking for granted!👣