Group of­fers help with hip dys­pla­sia

Melville Times - - Street Watch -

THREE years ago, Leeming res­i­dent Sarah Twomey was a mother of two ask­ing, “what can I do?”.

Her two daugh­ters – Eve and Maya, aged three and one at the time – were both re­ceiv­ing treat­ment for hip dys­pla­sia, a rel­a­tively un­known con­di­tion where the hip joints fail to de­velop nor­mally.

But Ms Twomey’s ques­tion was not posed from a po­si­tion of help­less­ness.

What she wanted to know was how she could help other par­ents in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion.

From that she founded Healthy Hips Aus­tralia, a not­for-profit group of­fer­ing re­sources and ed­u­ca­tion on hip dys­pla­sia.

“Quite of­ten the big­gest im­pact is on fam­i­lies,” Ms Twomey said.

“It af­fects how you hold your child, how you feed them, how they are seated in the car, and there’s dif­fer­ent stages of treat­ment.

“Par­ents can feel over­whelmed, then guilty be­cause they don’t want to moan about some­thing that isn’t life threat­en­ing.”

Hip dys­pla­sia – also known as devel­op­men­tal dys­pla­sia of the hip – oc­curs when the ball and socket of the hip do not sit cor­rectly. Left un­treated, it can lead to de­creased func­tion­al­ity in the joints and has been iden­ti­fied as a cause of early on-set arthri­tis.

Ms Twomey said just half of the fam­i­lies seek­ing sup­port through her or­gan­i­sa­tion had heard about the con­di­tion prior to their child be­ing di­ag­nosed with it.

With one in six full-term new­borns hav­ing some hip in­sta­bil­ity, she said she wanted to in­crease aware­ness sig­nif­i­cantly.

“Par­ents are the best ad­vo­cates for their chil­dren,” she said.

“Arm­ing them with the knowl­edge about the risk fac­tors for, and po­ten­tial signs of, this con­di­tion means they can help their child to be di­ag­nosed as early as pos­si­ble.

“Many don’t even re­alise they have a fam­ily his­tory of hip is­sues un­til their child’s treat­ment com­mences, which prompts the con­ver­sa­tion to be had with ex­tended fam­ily.”

Go to www.healthy­hips aus­tralia.org.au.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son d481801

Sarah Twomey, founder of Healthy Hips Aus­tralia, with her daugh­ters Eve and Maya.

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