How are hip problems treated?
Most hip problems can be treated with a soft brace called a "Pavlik harness." This brace keeps your baby's knees spread apart and bent up toward the chest (see Picture 2). If your baby is treated with this harness, the doctor will check your baby's hips every 1 to 2 weeks at first, to see if the hip is going into place and staying there. Once the hip is in place, your baby will keep wearing the brace for another 2 or 3 months. Your baby wears the brace day and night for about 3 to 6 months.
About 1 in 20 babies needs more than a brace to fix a hip problem. Some babies need leg casts. Other babies need surgery to fix their hip problem.
If you have any relatives that had hip problems when they were babies, tell your doctor. Even if your baby's hips seem normal, the doctor may want your baby to have an ultrasound or an X-ray to be sure.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff