Our medical malpractice lawyers represent children for the failure to timely diagnose and treat hip dysplasia. A delay in the diagnosis of hip dysplasia can result in unnecessary surgeries and disability over the lifetime of the child. A lawsuit can be filed against pediatricians for not detecting the condition at an early stage so that non-surgical treatment could be started.
Pediatric Hip Dysplasia Risk Factors
Developmental hip dysplasia (DDH) is the improper formation of the infant’s hip. Essentially, the ball of the hip does not form with the socket and fails to properly form. Early treatment is necessary for a good outcome.
There are several risk factors for the condition, including:
- First-born girls
- History of other relatives with the condition
- Babies born in breech position
Many infants have the condition despite no risk factors. However, a pediatrician must test for signs and symptoms of a displaced hip in every newborn and infant.
Importance of an Early Diagnosis
Suspicion of hip dysplasia is based on physical examination findings. Physicians are required to perform tests of the hip at wellness exams during the first year of life. An abnormal finding, like a clicking noise, raises concern.
There are also visual signs of a hip problem. These include a difference in leg length seen when the baby is lying down and the legs are fully extended. Uneven skin folds on the thighs and gluteal folds when comparing the two legs is also a sign of hip dysplasia.
If the condition is suspected, it is necessary to perform a radiology study. An ultrasound or plain x-ray can confirm or rule out the diagnosis.
Hip Dysplasia Treatment
Treatment for hip dysplasia is determined by the age of the child. Children under six months are treated with a Pavlik harness. This brace pushes the ball into the socket so they can form together like a normal child.
For a diagnosis after six months, surgery is often required. A pediatric orthopedic surgeon will determine the type of surgery needed for the best outcome. A late diagnosis usually results in a more difficult surgical procedure.
After surgery, the child is placed in a spica cast. This hard cast extends from the top of the chest down to the ankles. It promotes the proper development of the hip. The doctor then prescribes physical therapy to increase the strength and use of the joint.
Filing a Hip Dysplasia Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
A child harmed due to the delay in diagnosing hip dysplasia can file a lawsuit. The lawsuit is brought by a parent or guardian against the negligent doctor and clinic.
To win a hip dysplasia malpractice lawsuit, we must prove the pediatrician should have detected the condition earlier. We must also prove a Pavlik harness would have prevented the need for surgery.
Our legal team will have a pediatric orthopedic surgeon review the records and radiology films to make this determination. If there would have been a better outcome with an earlier diagnosis, we will file a malpractice case against the negligent doctor.
Free Evaluation of Your Case
We will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees unless there is a settlement in your case.
If your child had misdiagnosed hip dysplasia, you should contact our top-rated attorneys today so we can begin our investigation.
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