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Hip abduction brace

Summary

Why does my baby need to wear the brace?
How does the brace work?
Can I remove the brace to have my baby weighed?
How do I use the brace?
How long does the brace need to be worn for?
What about clothing/using slings while in brace?

Why does my baby need to wear the brace?

Your baby has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, which means that your baby’s hip is either underdeveloped, unstable or can be relocated from a dislocated position.

This is a relatively common condition, happening in around 4 in 1000 babies. It is more frequent in:

  • girls
  • breech presentations
  • family history of hip dysplasia
  • larger babies
  • first born children

Your baby may have had to wear a Pavlik harness previously, but sometimes we need to use a slightly stronger brace in order for treatment to be effective or following hip surgery. The brace is designed to stabilise your baby’s hip.

How does the brace work?

The brace holds the child’s hip in a position that allows the head of the femur (ball) to mould to the socket, deepening it and resulting in a stable hip joint.

The brace will hold your child’s hips in a flexed position with their legs out to the side. Your child will be able to flex their legs and move them outwards but will be restricted in extending and bringing their legs together.

Can I remove the brace to have my baby weighed?

The brace can be removed for measuring your baby’s weight but must be worn at other times as per the Consultant’s instructions.

How do I use the brace?

The hip abduction brace will be applied either in a one stop clinic after the ultrasound scan or if your baby has had surgery, it will be applied when the pots or plaster casts have been removed. We may need to make minor adjustments to the brace to make it more comfortable for your baby.

Sometimes the design of the brace allows you to change your baby’s nappy without removing the brace, but it is fine to remove the brace if necessary to change nappies.

It is important to keep the hip and knee creases clean and dry at all times. If they appear red or sore apply some Sudocrem or Metanium at each nappy change.  Please let us know if the redness has not passed within around 3 days.

How long does the brace need to be worn for?

It is the consultant’s decision as to when the brace has been successful and is to be removed. We can review your baby if there are any problems or if the brace starts to look too small.

What about clothing and using slings while in brace?

Loose clothing should be worn over the brace, such as babygrows, vests, and dresses, that does not affect the positioning in brace. Tighter clothes can be worn underneath. Slings are fine to use that support the weight of the legs and keep the legs apart, with baby facing towards the wearer.

Summary

Why does my baby need to wear the brace?
How does the brace work?
Can I remove the brace to have my baby weighed?
How do I use the brace?
How long does the brace need to be worn for?
What about clothing/using slings while in brace?

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the orthotic Department on from Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm on 0114 271 7271. Or email scn-tr.orthotics@nhs.net

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Disclaimer

Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: ORT13

Resource Type: Article

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Summary

Why does my baby need to wear the brace?
How does the brace work?
Can I remove the brace to have my baby weighed?
How do I use the brace?
How long does the brace need to be worn for?
What about clothing/using slings while in brace?

NHS

Western Bank
Sheffield
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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