Family raises awareness of hip dysplasia

Balingup’s Raelean Bailey with her grandson Finn, who suffers from developmental dysplasia of the hip.

Balingup’s Raelean Bailey with her grandson Finn, who suffers from developmental dysplasia of the hip.

BALINGUP grandmother Raelean Bailey and her family are working to raise awareness of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH), after encountering a lack of information about the condition.

Mrs Bailey’s grandson, Finn Braimbridge, first showed signs of the condition six months after being born in the breech position in 2013. Her family is now promoting awareness of the condition for Healthy Hips Awareness Week, on April 10-16.

Finn’s mother Jemma Bailey said the main issue in Finn’s type of DDH was that the ligaments were not holding the ball of the femur tight enough into the hip socket to form a nice rounded hip joint.

“As a result, his hip joints were forming a flat edge. If this was not corrected as a baby, eventually the action of walking over time would cause damage to the hip joint, possibly resulting in arthritis and in the worst case, needing hip replacement at an early age,” she said.

Finn was put into a `correctio’ brace on diagnosis that had to be worn 23 hours of the day.

“The start of my DDH journey was complicated as he no longer fit comfortably or safely in his pram, car seat or highchair,” Ms Bailey said.

“He was seen by an occupational therapist to add extra padding to his car seat and pram. Breastfeeding was awkward and complicated. Sleep was non-existent for the first few days as he was unable to get comfortable in the correctio brace.

“We got changed to a Rhino Cruiser, which was a better brace for his age.”

Ms Bailey said the lack of information at the time left her feeling emotional and overwhelmed.

“Finn’s diagnosis was considered a late diagnosis as the ideal time for treating DDH is from birth to three months,” she said.

Finn continued to be braced 23 hours a day until he was more than 14 months old and then was braced for nights and naps, 14-16 hours a day until he was 20 months old. He learned to crawl, roll and climb in the brace. He began walking within one week of coming out of the brace during day time.

Ms Bailey said that in mid 2014 Sarah, a Perth mum of two DDH babies, founded Healthy Hips Australia (HHA).

“She too was frustrated at the lack of practical, useful information available. With her Occupational Therapy background, Sarah established HHA as an entirely voluntary, not-for-profit organisation. During this time she has worked tirelessly to improve the journey of DDH for others,” she said. 

The Bailey family are fundraising for HHA via the mycause crowd funding website to provide Healthy Hips Kits to newly diagnosed babies/children and babies/children undergoing surgery requiring a spica cast, a plaster cast typically from hips to ankles or toes that is worn for at least six weeks.

“I am hoping to raise $5,000 to cover the costs of purchasing the items required in these kits, although we would welcome the offer from businesses to sponsor a product contained in the kit,” Ms Bailey said.

More information can be found at the fundraising page or Healthy Hips Australia.

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