Master S had his post brace x-ray the other day and now has perfect hips. Hooray! In hindsight the brace wasn't too bad - just another thing to worry about. He had it from 12 - 24 weeks, 23 hours a day for seven weeks and 20 hours a day for five weeks. It bothered me more than him.
I had never heard of hip dysplasia until I was told Miss J had clicky hips and we were sent off to have an ultrasound. She turned out not to need treatment but at the time I googled all about it and was terribly upset just by the possibility of my perfect little baby having to have a brace. Fortunately (or unfortunately) by the time Master S and L were born I had become reasonably familiar with the condition as it seems to be increasingly common. I actually met an orthotist the other day. This is someone whose job it is to fit the braces. Never heard of the profession previously and now I'm actually bumping into them at parties (well one at one party but I don't get out much).
Whether or not it has become more common, one thing I know for sure is that you can't be too cautious. My friend's son didn't get diagnosed until he had a limp when he started walking. He is now in the middle of years of brace treatment which may not even work so he could still need surgery when he is four and then be in an almost full body cast for months afterwards followed by further brace treatment. Unfortunately, this scenario is not unusual. I'm in a facebook group about hip dysplasia which has 1,873 members. Many stories are similar to mine - picked up early, treatment whilst a baby, not too big a deal. However, many stories are horrendous with years and years of treatment because it wasn't picked up early.
So if you're pregnant or have a little baby, I highly recommend that you push to have an ultrasound on the hips. It doesn't hurt the baby and could save you years and years of torment.