Tell us about your family…
I’m Katie, and I live with my husband Wesley, and our daughter Phoebe (5) in Burnley, Lancashire.
Phoebe is your star – tell us her story…
We were referred for a consultation [during pregnancy] as we were high risk (She was expected to be a large baby and was 9lb 9). Her x-ray showed that she had DDH and a Pavlik Harness was fitted to be worn 24/7 for 12 weeks.
When Phoebe starting to walk at 13 months old I noticed she had a limp. I didn’t know if she was just unsteady due to just learning to walk. This limp became more noticeable to myself and others started commenting. I took Phoebe to the GP when she was 15 months old. This was April 2018. We were referred to orthopaedics and got an app for September 2018. Phoebe had an x-ray at this appointment and we were told they may have to operate. We had to see the consultant a month later and we were told she would have to have surgery and this would be done before Christmas.
After 6 months’ wait and me developing anxiety due to not knowing when her operation would be, how I was going to manage work, after her operation, etc, Phoebe finally had her op in March 2019. She had a pelvic ostomy and open reduction on her right hip. Phoebe was put in her purple cast and we spent one night in Royal Blackburn hospital.
The first 2 weeks were awful as Phoebe was having muscle spasms in her cast at night – we had no sleep. She was very down while in her cast as she was normally very active. After 6 weeks she had a cast change under anaesthetic and then after another 6 weeks she had her cast removed.
Towards the end of her cast life Phoebe was walking in her cast like a crab and balancing stood up. She went to the child minder’s a couple of days to keep in contact, but she couldn’t go as she normally would, which was an issue for her. They told us that it would take a while for her to walk after having the cast off, however she was walking the same day! Wobbling but walking.
What’s the current situation with Phoebe? What does the future look like?
We are 3 months on from having the cast off and she is running and walking like it never happened. She had an x-ray at the end of July and they said they were happy. Our next appointment is in January. She does not mention her operation or speak about having the cast on, however she has recently in the last weeks complained of a sore hip, so I am anxious about the next check up.
What do you wish you’d known before?
I don’t think there is anything else I could have known that would make our hippie journey any easier.
Can you offer any advice to others in a similar situation?
The waiting for results and the operation is the worst part of the whole thing. I didn’t get much support from the hospital especially when she was having muscle spasms. Being on the Facebook DDH group has helped a lot so I would definitely recommend this or something similar.
Is there anyone you’d like to mention or thank?
Dr. Katchburian at Maidstone was lovely with Lucy and really put me at ease.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I met parents who experienced the same lack of preparation and they had been seen 5 years prior at the same hospital. This is the one area it would be great to see some improvement.