UW Health's pediatric orthopedics program at American Family Children's Hospital offers a complete set of services for children with hip disorders. From diagnosis to nonsurgical therapy to minimally invasive and traditional open surgery, our team's holistic approach focuses on preserving the child's natural hip.
Treatment for hip dysplasia, a relatively common disorder in children, depends on the age of the child and the type and severity of dysplasia. For young children with mild dysplasia, we offer nonsurgical therapies such as the Pavlik harness or closed reduction with casting.
For older children or adolescents with more severe dysplasia, we perform:
- Open reductions to realign the femoral ball into the acetabulum
- Femoral or pelvic (Ganz) osteotomies to reshape the femur or acetabulum so they align correctly in the hip
Our surgeons are also researching guided-growth techniques to help improve preserve a child's normal hip development. In these techniques, the surgeon places implants near the hip's growth plates, which gently guide the direction of bone growth.
A child with Perthes disease is fitted with an external containment brace to keep the femoral head in the socket as the hip heals
Our team offers nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for children with Perthes disease, a disease in which the blood supply to the femoral head is interrupted, resulting in bone death and eventual re-growth. All types of treatment aim to optimize the femoral head’s healing and preserve the child's mobility.
- Nonsurgical containment with Physical Therapy
- Placement of external fixation to keep the femoral head inside the socket as the hip heals
- Muscle-release operations or osteotomies to redirect the femoral head in the socket, so it can heal in a spherical shape and position
- Core decompression surgery to stimulate blood supply to the hip
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
Slipped capital femoral epiphysis, when the growth plate at the end of the femoral neck weakens, causing the femoral head to slip off, is an unusual disorder found in older children and adolescents. "Slips" can result from a sports or traumatic injury, but also appear for unknown reasons.
Children with the disorder almost always need surgery to prevent further slipping of the femoral head until the growth plate closes. Depending on the severity of the slip, surgical treatment includes placement of screws, with or without removal of the weakened growth plate, to stabilize the femoral head.
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a disruption in the hip's gliding motion due to a misshapen femoral head or protruding socket rim. This disorder is sometimes seen in older children as a result of congenital defects, conditions such as Perthes disease or slipped capital femoral epiphysis, or traumatic injury. Left untreated, FAI can lead to irreversible cartilage damage and osteoarthritis.
Surgical treatment for FAI includes:
- Minimally invasive hip arthroscopy
- Open osteotomy, often using techniques that minimize the amount of surgical dissection