Baby Hip Clinic

PDF download is not available for Arabic and Urdu languages at this time. Please use the browser print function instead

Learn about the SickKids interprofessional outpatient clinic for newborn babies to assist in the diagnosis and non-operative treatment of DDH.

Key points

  • Managing DDH requires an interprofessional health-care team.
  • You may need a series of visits with the health-care team which may be in-person or virtual.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Baby Hip Clinic team.

Your child’s health-care team

During the journey through developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) treatment, you and your child may meet with a number of different people on their health-care team who work together to streamline care. Some of these health-care workers include:

  • orthopaedic surgeon
  • physical therapy practitioner
  • orthotists
  • physiotherapists
  • nurses
  • clinical trainees (residents, fellows)
  • administrative assistants
  • patient information clerks

First clinic appointment

When you take your child to the Baby Hip Clinic for the first time, you will need to register at the front desk of the orthopaedic clinic. Once registered, your child will then go for an ultrasound. After the ultrasound, they will return to the clinic to meet the orthopaedic team. Please leave your stroller/buggy outside of the clinic room when you are placed in a clinic room.

The clinical team will discuss your child's condition, examine your child and if needed, explain the treatment options to you. These may include a Pavlik harness, fixed abduction brace or in some cases, surgery. The Pavlik harness is usually the first-line treatment for most cases of infant hip dysplasia. If the Pavlik harness is needed, the orthotist will apply the harness at this appointment. Your baby may require a few days to get used to the harness.

Pavlik harness treatment is often started at this first appointment. We ask that you bring loose clothing (up one to two sizes), dresses, sleep sacks or blankets so that you can take your baby home comfortably with the Pavlik harness underneath.

Follow-up clinic appointments

Some follow-up clinic visits will need to be in-person, and some will be virtual depending on the stage of treatment and the need for ultrasound. An ultrasound may not be needed at every clinic visit. The clinical team will determine whether your child needs to have an ultrasound as part of their appointment.

In-person follow-up visits

You will need to register at the orthopaedic clinic and take your baby for an ultrasound scan (if required). You will then return to the clinic to meet the clinical team who will analyze the results of the ultrasound, check the progress of treatment, check the fit of the harness and will examine your baby for any signs of complications such as femoral nerve palsy or skin irritation. The clinical team may adjust the straps of the harness at your visit as the harness will need to be adjusted as your baby grows.

Virtual follow-up visits

To schedule your virtual appointment, you will first need to give your email address to the orthopaedic clinic administrative team. Before your appointment you will be emailed a weblink with your appointment date and time. Prepare your baby for the appointment by having all clothing removed and have them on a safe surface lying on their backs. You may need to move the camera around, so using your phone for the appointment is often easier than tablets, laptops or desktop computers. During this visit the fit of the harness will be checked and adjusted as needed. The clinical team will want to see that your baby can kick freely. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have.

Last updated: October 17th 2022