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What's after the Pavlik Harness?

by Nicola - 22:49 on 21 August 2016

I had many concerns when my daughter was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, will the treatment be successful, will her hips be fixed? Developmentally, will she be left behind? Will she be able to lead an active life? I specifically remember asking her physio if her muscles would atrophy in the time she was in the Pavlik Harness. She was put into the harness at 4 weeks, she was a baby, not Arnie!

I'm sure many of you have exactly the same concerns, but while she was in the harness, she kicked her way out of the small size. To the extent she could literally straighten her legs while wearing it. Not ideal for treatment to be successful! I had to take a pair of tights and tie the straps together to hold her knees in place, and put a second nappy over the top of the lot. Trust me, nappy changes took a long time! Although my parents assure me it was more like treatment from back in the day when I had dysplasia, when they had to do was use two terry towelling nappies.

She had to go into a bigger harness to keep her legs constrained so obviously no problem with her muscles atrophying!

Baby Milestones

My daughter hit her milestones at the same time as her peers, she rolled over within a few weeks of coming out of the harness. She was sitting up independantly at 5 months and by 6 months she had developed an unusual method of sitting up from lying down. She would roll onto her tummy, use her hands to push her upper body off the ground while spreading her legs into the splits, and keep pushing until she was upright. I've never seen another baby sit up like that before or since - did any of your babies sit up like that? Ok so other big milestones, crawling at 8 months, then the big one, walking at 11 months. It really was an amazing, delightful and relieving moment. Then of course, she had her x-ray at 1 year old to check on those hips, and it was completely normal, wow the relief was immense, and she walked out of the hospital, along the top of a wall although she did have a bit of help balancing ;-)

After the Harness

So i'd like to share an image of my daughter. It's a view I see often, and it's generally viewed at speed because she never stops. This was taken at just over 2 years old she was, and still is, a regular speedy gonzalez - endless running, climbing and jumping. The pavlik harness was a royal pain in the toosh, but it's so much better that hip dysplasia is caught early, and when it does it's job, this is the outcome!

 


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