Implement scanning for all UK newborn babies for Hip Dysplasia

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I am re-raising this issue as it is something that has personally touched my life and since being diagnosed in my teens I have faced years of multiple surgeries and continuous pain.

The International Hip Dysplasia Institute suggests 9 out of 10 cases of hip dysplasia are only diagnosed during adolescence or adulthood and is the most common cause of hip arthritis in women younger than fifty, and the reason for 20% of all total hip replacements in the USA.

Early diagnosis, prevention, and simple treatment is the best solution

An ultrasound scan could pick up this 'silent' condition and allow the child to have less-intrusive treatment rather than surgery later on in life. Dysplasia, when detected within the first few weeks of life, can usually be corrected by simply placing the baby's legs in a special harness for about three months.

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the 'ball and socket' joint of the hips don't properly form in babies and young children. Implementing scanning for all UK newborns for hip dysplasia and ensuring immediate less-intrusive treatment if found could reduce lifelong surgery and disability. It is said that 'If all babies were scanned and treated in their first 6 months of life it would reduce dysplasia surgery by 90%'.

The NHS is incredible and this is in no way meant to cause offence to them as they provide incredible care but we all know the NHS is in financial crisis. The cost of scanning all newborns and treating those with hip dysplasia early is far cheaper than the costs of finding it later with inevitable repeat surgeries, joint replacements, education and career disruption, disability benefits and treatment for depression and chronic pain.

We currently check babies using the 'Ortolani test' which is a manual examination where both legs are gently grasped and rotated outwards - a clicking sensation indicates a possible abnormal hip. This manipulation test can unfortunately be unreliable even in experienced hands. It is also suggested that hospitals do not always pick up on bilateral dysplasia as it works on one hip feeling different to the other. 

It is estimated that up to 50% of abnormalities remain undetected, even though babies are routinely examined twice - once soon after birth, and again at the six-week postnatal check.

Hip Dysplasia is often known as a “silent” condition. It does not cause pain in babies and doesn’t normally prevent them from learning how to walk at a normal age. So if the diagnosis is missed it may not become apparent until a toddler starts walking with a limp which then can only be corrected by surgery. In girls it is often not picked up till adolescence.

This is something that needs to change. I beg you to look into this issue and for everyone to sign this petition so we can activate change. This is not a preventable condition yet scanning babies will result in avoiding the need for surgery later in life and cases of disability. 



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