Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (Hip Dysplasia and DDH)

  • If your baby or child has been diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip (also known as DDH or hip dysplasia), you’ll have concerns and questions about her treatment, recovery, outlook and other issues. It may comfort you to know that at Children’s Hospital Boston, we’ll provide support every step of the way.

    • Developmental dysplasia of the hip is a condition in which the hip joint doesn’t develop normally.
      • DDH occurs on a spectrum of abnormality—ranging from just a minor laxity (looseness) of the ligament that holds the ball in the socket to a complete dislocation, in which the ball is entirely out of the socket.
    • In DDH, the hip socket may be too shallow and/or the ligaments too loose, allowing the ball (head) of the thigh bone (femur) to slip in and out of the socket, partially or completely.
    • The socket and/or the femoral head can be out of position or otherwise not programmed to develop properly.
    • The hip joint’s ligaments can be looser than normal.
    • Some common signs can include:
      • the leg on the side of the dislocated hip may appear shorter
      • the leg on the side of the dislocated hip may turn outward
      • the folds in the skin of the thigh or buttocks may appear uneven
      • the space between the legs may look wider than normal
    • Treatments range from simple observation, to harnessing/casting/bracing, to surgery.
    • The condition can be congenital (present at birth), or can develop as the child grows.
    • Often, the condition corrects itself without medical intervention as the child grows.
    • DDH affects one or two out of 1,000 babies.
    • The highest incidence of DDH occurs in:
      • females (who have looser ligaments than males)
      • first-born babies (whose fit in the uterus is tighter than in later babies)
      • breech babies (whose constrained position tends to strain the joint’s ligaments)
      • children in families where there’s a genetic predisposition for the condition
    • DDH is the most common cause of hip problems in children.
    • If untreated or undertreated in childhood, DDH is the most common cause of osteoarthritis (and its attendant disability) in adults.
      • Untreated, the condition can also cause pain, a limp and/or differences in leg length.

    How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches developmental dysplasia of the hip

    Whether your child’s hip needs non-surgical or surgical treatment, you can have peace of mind knowing that, as national and international orthopedics referral centers, Boston Children’s General Orthopedic ProgramOrthopedic Center and Child and Adult Hip Preservation Program have treated a large volume of hip conditions that few pediatric hospitals have ever seen. As a result, we can provide expert diagnosis, treatment and care for every level of complexity and severity of DDH.

    Unique expertise in problems of the adolescent hip. Many adolescents and young adults with hip problems need diagnostic and surgical techniques that differ significantly from what’s indicated for younger children. Boston Children’s Child and Adult Hip Preservation Program, led by Michael Millis, MD, and Young-Jo Kim, MD, is the only such program in the world. We offer the extensive experience and advanced techniques of clinicians and researchers dedicated to finding better ways to care for adolescents and young adults with hip problems.

    Contact Us

    Orthopedic Center
    Boston Children's Hospital

    300 Longwood Avenue
    Fegan 2
    Boston MA 02115
     617-355-6021

  • What is DDH?

    The hip is a ball-and-socket joint: The ball (femoral head), is the top part of the thigh bone, and the socket (acetabulum) is part of the pelvis.

    Hip dysplasia is a relatively common abnormality of the hip joint, occurring on a spectrum of abnormality in relation to the joint’s stability and/or shape. The severity of DDH ranges from just a minor looseness of the ligament that holds the ball in the socket to a complete dislocation, in which the ball is entirely out of the socket.

    In DDH, the hip socket may be too shallow and/or the ligaments too loose—letting the ball of the thigh bone (femoral head) slip in and out of the socket, partially or completely.

    The abnormal development in hip dysplasia usually causes the head of the thigh bone (femoral head) to put too much pressure on the rim of the hip socket. Over time, this can damage cartilage and is the leading cause of osteoarthritis (joint inflammation), and its resultant disability, in adults. 

    What abnormal developments characterize hip dysplasia?

    Typically, hip dysplasia is characterized by:

    • ligaments that are too loose
    • inadequate development of the hip socket
    • a hip socket that’s shallow—"dish-shaped" rather than "cup-shaped"
    • a hip socket where the upper portion is tilted outward rather than in the normal horizontal orientation

    People with milder cases of hip dysplasia often go through childhood and adolescence without experiencing symptoms or even knowing about their condition. But in young adulthood, they may start having hip pain and need to seek medical care.

    How common is hip dysplasia?

    Hip dysplasia is the most common developmental hip deformity in children—and the most common single cause of osteoarthritis of the hip in young and older adults. The condition affects one or two out of 1,000 babies.

    Who’s at risk for developing hip dysplasia?

    The risk for hip dysplasia and hip instability increases with any situation that stretches the baby’s hip ligaments (an issue of stability) or causes her legs and hips to be positioned so that the ball of the thigh bone slips out of the hip socket (an issue of shape). The risk is higher for:

    • children in families where there’s a genetic predisposition for the condition
    • females, who have looser ligaments than males
    • first-born babies, whose fit in the uterus is tighter than in later babies
    • breech babies, whose constrained position tends to strain the joint’s ligaments
       

    My child’s DDH is mild. Does she still need treatment?

    If a child who has hip dysplasia remains relatively pain-free, parents may sometimes be tempted to leave their child’s diagnosed condition untreated. But even if a child who has DDH grows to adolescence without developing pain or a limp, it’s inevitable that her untreated dysplastic hip will wear out and become arthritic in adulthood. Parents need to understand that sometimes DDH treatment in childhood is prophylactic (preventive)—to prevent serious hip disease and possible disability later on.
     

    Is there a danger of pain or early arthritis when my child grows up?

    In a very young child who develops DDH, there’s usually little or no pain, but pain may develop as the child begins to walk. If untreated or undertreated in childhood, DDH is the most common cause of early arthritis (and its attendant disability) in young adults. Untreated, the condition can also cause pain, a limp and/or differences in leg length.
     

    Will my child be OK?

    The vast majority of children treated for DDH at Boston Children’s have corrections that enable their bones to grow normally—so they can walk, play, grow and live active lives. Diagnosing and treating your child’s DDH in infancy greatly increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.

    The clinical research and basic science leaders at Boston Children’s Orthopedic Center are recognized throughout the world for their achievements in the field. Our breakthroughs mean that we can provide your child with the most innovative care available. 

    Causes

    In hip dysplasia, the socket is too shallow and/or the ligaments too loose—allowing the ball of the thigh bone slip partially or completely in and out of the hip socket. Why this can happen hasn’t been confirmed, but it’s thought that the condition is influenced by:

    • genetics
    • the position and constraints of the fetus in utero
    • first-born birth order
    • gender (female)

    Signs and symptoms

    Common signs of DDH include:

    • the leg on the side of the dislocated hip may appear shorter
    • the leg on the side of the dislocated hip may turn outward
    • the folds in the skin of the thigh or buttocks may appear uneven
    • the space between the legs may look wider than normal

    Tips if your child needs a cast or harness

    • Keep your child’s cast clean and dry.
    • Check for cracks or breaks in the cast.
    • Put pads on rough edges to protect the skin from scratches.
    • Don’t scratch the skin under the cast by inserting objects inside the cast.
    • Use a hairdryer placed on a cool setting to blow air under the cast and cool down the hot, itchy skin. Never blow warm or hot air into the cast.
    • Cover the cast while your child is eating to prevent food spills and crumbs from entering the cast.
    • Prevent small toys or objects from being put inside the cast.
    • Elevate the cast above the level of the heart to decrease swelling.
    • Encourage your child to move her toes to promote circulation.
    • Don’t use the abduction straps on a Pavlik harness to lift or carry your child.

    When to seek medical advice

    For a diagnosis. Because most babies who have DDH aren’t in pain, a child’s doctor is usually the person who detects DDH. But you may notice if your baby’s:

    • leg on the side of the dislocated hip appears shorter
    • leg on the side of the dislocated hip turns outward
    • skin folds in the thigh or buttocks appear uneven
    • space between the legs looks wider than normal

    If your child is wearing a Pavlik harness or a cast to treat DDH, contact her doctor if she develops:

    • fever higher than 101 degrees F.
    • increased pain
    • increased swelling above or below the cast
    • numbness or tingling sensation
    • drainage or foul odor from the cast
    • cool or cold fingers or toes

    Complications

    The great majority of non-surgical and surgical treatments of DDH at Boston Children’s occur without complications. But if left untreated, the condition will eventually become painful, and a limp and/or differences in leg length may develop.

    The maldevelopment in hip dysplasia usually causes the head of the thigh bone (femoral head) to put too much pressure on the rim of the hip socket. Over time, this can damage cartilage and is the most common cause of premature arthritis (and its attendant disability) in young adults.

    Long-term outlook

    Boston Children’s research into bone problems means that we can provide your child with the most innovative care available. As a result, the great majority of children treated for DDH at Boston Children’s have corrections that enable their bones to grow normally—so they can walk, play, grow and live active lives.

  • At Boston Children’s Hospital, we know that the first step to treating your child’s hip dysplasia is to form a complete and accurate diagnosis. Your child’s doctor will do a physical exam—the doctor can often feel the ball popping in and out of the socket. The doctor will also take a family history (including any hip problems in your family) and may use diagnostic tests to get detailed images of your child’s hip joint.

    Typical tests can include:

    • ultrasound (sonogram): a painless, non-invasive imaging technique that looks inside your child's body without the use of radiation. Ultrasound is the preferred way to diagnose hip dysplasia in babies up to 6 months of age. It uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of organs, bones, tissues and blood vessels.
    • x-ray: diagnostic radiology that shows the dense structures—including bones—inside your child’s body. After a child is 6 months of age, x-rays are the more reliable test for her, because additional calcium coming into the head of the femur interferes with the accuracy of the ultrasound imaging. X-rays are also used to diagnose hip dysplasia in older children, adolescents and adults.




  • Boston Children’s Hospital hip sub-specialists provide comprehensive treatment—including evaluation, diagnosis, consultation and follow-up care. How we’ll treat your child’s DDH depends on the complexity and severity of her condition—as well as her age, overall health, medical history and the expectations for the course of her condition as she grows.

    The goal of all treatments for DDH is to put the femoral head back into the hip socket, so that the hip can develop normally. Treatment options may include:

    • observation: If the socket of a child 6 months of age or younger is only slightly shallow and the instability is minor, the doctor will just follow the hip closely, since often the joint will form normally on its own.
    • Pavlik Harness for Hip DysplasiaPavlik harness: A Pavlik harness is used on babies up to 4 months of age to hold the hip in place, while allowing the legs to move a little. Your baby's doctor puts the harness on; the baby usually wears it full-time for at least six weeks, then part-time (12 hours per day) for another six weeks.

      During this time the doctor will see your baby frequently, to examine her hip and check the harness for proper fit. At the end of the treatment, x-rays (or an ultrasound) will check hip placement.

      The baby’s hip is usually successfully treated with the Pavlik harness, but sometimes it may continue to be partially or completely dislocated.
    • traction or casting: If the hip continues to be partially or completely dislocated, traction or casting may be used. Traction—consisting of pulleys, strings, weights and a metal frame attached over or on the bed—applies force to stretch certain parts of the body in a specific direction.

      The purpose of traction is to stretch the soft tissues around the hip and allow the femoral head to move back into the hip socket. Traction can be set up either at home or in the hospital and is usually used for about 10 to 14 days.
    • surgery and casting: If the other methods aren’t successful—or if DDH is diagnosed after the child is 2 – closed reduction surgery may be needed to put the hip back into place manually. After surgery, a spica cast (a cast that extends from the nipple line to the legs) is put on the baby to hold the hip in place.

      The baby wears the spica cast for about three to six months. The cast is changed from time to time to accommodate the baby's growth and to ensure the cast's rigidity (it may soften with daily wear). The cast remains on the hip until the hip achieves normal placement. Following casting, the baby may need a special brace and physical therapy exercises to strengthen the muscles around the hip and in the legs.
    • surgery for toddlers and very young children: Non-surgical treatment is generally ineffective for a child older than walking age (especially if her hip isn’t developing properly or is dislocated). Open reduction surgery (in which the hip is repaired through an incision into the body) is usually needed, since by this time the child’s bones are usually enough “off-track” that they need to be repositioned in order for the hip to grow and function normally.

      The type of procedure for children of walking age (and older) depends on the problem that the surgery is treating, such as:
    • re-shaping the hip socket: Surgery can reshape and re-direct the hip socket if it’s too shallow, or is pointed in the wrong direction. This is done by cutting above or around the socket to re-direct it within the pelvis.
    • re-directing the femoral head: Surgery can re-direct the ball (femoral head) if it’s pointing in the wrong direction. The surgeon cuts the femur, points the femoral head in the correct position, and reconstructs the cut pieces with plates and screws until they heal.
    • repair of a dislocation: With a complete dislocation,
      • the ball is put back into the socket
      • tight muscles (and/or obstructive fatty tissue) that are preventing the ball from going into the socket (“obstacles to reduction”) are cut away
      • ligaments to hold the ball in the socket are reconstructed
      • a cast keeps the ball in place in the socket during healing
    • surgery for children older than 18 months of age: If the ball is out of the socket in a child older than 18 months, the socket is usually extremely shallow and hasn’t developed well. And the longer the ball stays out of the socket, the shallower the socket gets. In this situation, the surgeon will almost always need to:
      • put the ball into the socket
      • deepen the socket
      • re-orient the socket so it’s more stable
      • tighten the ligament
    • surgery for children older than 2 ½ or 3 years of age: By this age the joint’s tissues (muscles and ligaments) are usually very tight, so in addition to the above, surgeons must also shorten the thigh bone (femur) to loosen the tissues. Loosening the tissues allows the ball to go into the socket, and relieves pressure on the cartilage and the small blood vessels that go to the ball.
    • surgery for teens and adults:
      • Bernese periacetabular osteotomy (Bernese PAO) for teens and adults:At Children's, we’ve performed over 1,400 Bernese periacetabular osteotomies to correct dysplastic hips in teens and adults, whose hip sockets have finished growing.

        The PAO is the most complex and powerful procedure for repositioning the hip socket. Children’s is the most experienced center in the United States for the procedure – and the second-most experienced in the world. It’s our standard treatment for a hip socket that’s too shallow in a patient whose socket has finished growing – typically at ages 13 or 14 through adult – and whose hip is still viable enough to be repaired rather than replaced.

        The PAO involves rotating the shallow, dysplastic socket (acetabulum) by cutting it free enough from its attachments within the pelvis to be repositioned into a more stable alignment on the top of the head of the femur. In this new alignment, excessive pressure from the femoral head is more evenly distributed away from the sensitive rim area.
         

    Care after surgery: tips if your child is in a cast or harness

    • Keep your child’s cast clean and dry.
    • Check for cracks or breaks in the cast.
    • Put pads on rough edges to protect the skin from scratches.
    • Don’t scratch the skin under the cast by inserting objects inside the cast.
    • Use a hairdryer placed on a cool setting to blow air under the cast and cool down the hot, itchy skin. Never blow warm or hot air into the cast.
    • Cover the cast while your child is eating to prevent food spills and crumbs from entering the cast.
    • Prevent small toys or objects from being put inside the cast.
    • Elevate the cast above the level of the heart to decrease swelling.
    • Encourage your child to move her toes to promote circulation
    • Don’t use the abduction straps on a Pavlik harness to lift or carry your child.
       

    Specialist care throughout your child’s growth period

    Success rates are high for hip dysplasia treatments at Boston Children’s. Even so, any child who’s been treated for hip dysplasia must still be followed periodically by her orthopedist until her skeletal growth is complete. The doctor will monitor the repaired hip, since it needs to grow normally through the whole growth period in order to be durable for a lifetime.

  • For more than a century, orthopedic surgeons and investigators at Children’s Hospital Boston have played a vital role in the field of musculoskeletal research—with breakthrough treatments and major advances for conditions such as developmental hip dysplasia, scoliosis, polio, tuberculosis and traumas to the hand and upper extremities.

    Our pioneering research helps answer the most pressing questions in pediatric orthopedics today—to provide children with the most innovative care available.

    In Boston Children’s Orthopedic Center and Child and Adult Hip Preservation Program, we take great pride in our basic science and clinical research leaders, who are recognized throughout the world for their achievements. Our orthopedic research team includes:

    • full-time basic scientists
    • more than 20 clinical investigators
    • a team of research coordinators and statisticians
       

    Studies of developmental hip conditions

    Developmental hip conditions such as hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and slipped capital femoral epiphysis can lead to premature arthritis in young adults, resulting in pain and disability. Our research focuses on understanding the pathomechanics (mechanical forces that adversely change the body's structure and function) of these conditions. With better understanding, we can improve existing therapies and develop new therapies for these complex conditions.

    Current and recent studies include the following:

    • We’re conducting a large number of ongoing studies to follow patients who’ve had various treatments for hip dysplasia. Our studies use outcomes measures, custom questionnaires and special methods for measuring results – both prospectively (before treatment) and retrospectively.
       
    • We’re studying long-term outcomes after Bernese periacetabular osteotomy (Bernese PAO) for hip dysplasia: Since 1991, Children's has performed over 1,400 Bernese periacetabular osteotomies to correct dysplastic hips in teens and adults, whose hip sockets have finished growing. Our large volume makes Children’s the most experienced center in the United States for this procedure – and the second-most experienced in the world.

      • PAO is our standard treatment for a hip socket that’s too shallow in a patient whose socket has finished growing – typically ages 13 or 14 through adult – and whose hip is still viable enough to be repaired rather than replaced. The procedure rotates the hip socket into a more stable position and is the most complex and powerful procedure for positioning the hip socket.
      • We’re constantly obtaining and analyzing radiographic and clinical long-term follow-up data on sub-groups of our PAO patient population as it ages, to determine the effectiveness of the procedure for halting or preventing the development of osteoarthritis of the hip.
    • We’re studying the use of delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC) to assess early osteoarthritis in dysplastic hips: In early osteoarthritis, the charge of the extracellular matrix is degraded and lost. The delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage technique is designed to indirectly measure the early loss of charge density in cartilage. Learn more.
    • We’re studying perfusion MRI as a predictor for developing avascular necrosis after closed reduction of dislocated hips: Our retrospective analysis is looking at predictive values of contrast-enhanced MRI after closed reduction for avascular necrosis (cellular death due to interrupted blood supply) in developmental dysplasia of the hip. Learn more.
    • Boston Children’s is a founding member of the Academic Network of Conservational Hip Outcomes Research (ANCHOR), a collaboration of researchers dedicated to following patients with developmental hip disease. The group now comprises 10 centers in the United States and one in Europe, and enrolls more than 500 patients each year in various studies.
       

    Orthopedic basic science laboratories

    Working in Boston Children’s labs are some of the leading musculoskeletal researchers in the nation. Our labs include:

  • Jenn Sprung

    Helping a teenage athlete stay hip

    Angela's Story

    Angela McNeeley was born with developmental dysplasia of the hip, which means there was a problem with the formation of her hip joint. When discovered early hip dysplasia can be treated with special harnesses or casts. But for children like Angela, whose hip dysplasia wasn't diagnosed until she was five years old, treatment is much more serious. Please watch this video to learn more about how Boston Children's Hospital treats developmental dysplasia of the hip in older children.

    Ingrid's story

    I remember the day my mom decided to take my complaints seriously. I had been suffering off and on for quite a long time — maybe a year — about a pain in my left leg. It would run down my thigh and around my knee. On this day, the pain was really bad. I was on the brink of tears because I was so fed up with the pain that would not go away — not with Advil, Tylenol, or a heating pad.

    After getting the usual advice (rest, Tylenol, heating pad), my doctor told me to come back in a week. I felt kind of hopeless at that moment because I knew that these remedies would not make the pain go away. I didn’t hold this against my doctor, but I was frustrated that nothing was going to get done immediately.

    One week later, I was back at my doctor’s office. This time, my doctor ordered X-rays for both my knee and hip. Since the pain was usually centered around my knee, I felt that had to be the source of the pain. I was completely wrong.

    At the time, I had absolutely no idea what was ahead of me. I’m not really sure on the details of how I was referred to a surgeon at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC), but I clearly remember my experience with this man. My mom and I had checked in and given my X-rays to the front desk staff and were waiting together to see what was going to happen next. The wait seemed forever and I kept asking my mom what was going to happen (even though she didn’t know herself!).

    The doctor finally came in and told my mom and me that I needed surgery on my hip. He showed us the X-rays and my hip was completely out of place compared to where it should have been. Meanwhile, I was reeling from the news that I was going to have surgery. I never imagined that was even a possibility. My naïve 12-year-old self thought maybe all I needed was a cast or something. The other major news? I would have to travel to Boston to get that surgery because it could not be performed at CCMC. My mom and I were stunned at this turn of events. I was in disbelief. The doctor left the room before we could ask any questions. That gave me false hope that maybe, just maybe, he was mistaken and I didn’t need any surgery.

    I really did need the surgery and that’s how I came to meet the wonderful people at Children’s Hospital Boston, including the extraordinary Dr. Michael Millis. Now, our first introduction didn’t go that well. I was pretty resentful and kind of hostile about what was happening to me. So, I wasn’t exactly my normal, nice self when I met Dr. Millis. However, he very easily changed my mind about doctors (especially about him). Even though I wanted to remain in a bad mood, I just couldn’t because Dr. Millis was so nice and friendly and wonderful to me and my mom, dad and brother.

    At that first meeting, Dr. Millis also told me that my hip dysplasia was one of the most serious cases he’d ever seen. Again, little did I know what that actually meant for me in the following months. My surgery was booked immediately, but that meant I didn’t actually have it for a few months. 

    My family and I drove up to Boston the night before my surgery. We got in pretty late, around 9 o’clock and we still had to eat dinner. I remember my “last” meal before I had to fast for the required time before surgery. It was at a restaurant on Newbury Street, and I had a chicken sandwich. Although everyone else in my family was starving, I was pretty nervous. That chicken sandwich looked pretty colossal. Needless to say, I did not eat much.

    The next morning, I woke up feeling not very rested. I wasn’t feeling too nervous but I was worried about swallowing water (forbidden by the fasting rule) while brushing my teeth! We made our way to the hospital and to the pre-op clinic. But since we were so early, my parents decided to eat breakfast at Au Bon Pain. That was pretty torturous for me because I was starving at that point and had to be witness to my parents and brother eating those yummy cranberry muffins. I couldn’t even drink any water.           

    After our (well, their) brief pit stop, I headed to the pre-op clinic with my mom. My dad had taken my brother out in Boston since my surgery was supposed to be about six hours (not fair!). The details about the pre-op clinic are kind of fuzzy, but I remember meeting with a nurse and being asked some questions like “what did you eat for breakfast?” — trick question! “Nothing, of course” (I only wished). After that, we were sent back to the waiting room.        

    Eventually, I was called and directed to change into my hospital gown. I met the anesthesiologist and was asked again if I had had anything to eat or drink (a very important question). Anyway, I was fine so I was prepped for surgery. I think Dr. Millis came in briefly to say hello and mention a couple of things. Then I was given the shot of anesthesia and felt very sleepy very quickly. I said goodbye to my mom and was off to the operating room but I conked out before I reached the room.

    My greatest worry had been throwing up after the surgery (due to the anesthesia) but luckily, when I heard the nurses/anesthesiologist calling my name, I felt fine. I smiled because I had made it through the surgery. However, my eyes were so puffy, I couldn’t even open them and I was very thirsty. Unfortunately, the breathing tube that had been in my throat throughout the surgery had irritated my throat to the point that I could barely whisper. I kept whispering “water” until someone finally understood what I was saying and got me a cup and a straw.

    I briefly saw my parents in the recovery room and once I was wheeled up to my hospital room, I got to see my brother. I was super exhausted and just wanted to sleep for a long time. I later learned that my surgery had lasted eight hours! It’s weird to think about those hours because to me, the whole thing felt like a minute!

    I spent seven days in the hospital and I did a lot of sleeping. My nurses and the staff were always great and super kind. My stay was really great, except for those early morning rounds, when I would be woken up to ask how I was doing. Throughout it all, Dr. Millis was there for me. The first time I was testing out my crutches, I took too big of a step and would have fallen had it not been for Dr. Millis being there and literally catching me before I fell.

    I spent a month in a wheelchair and out of school. Then I was on crutches for another two months until the plate and pins in my hip were removed in another surgery. Again, I received the same top-notch quality of care during that shorter stay.

    My recovery wasn’t too bad. Other than being out of commission for a few months at a time and starting high school on crutches, there weren’t too many negatives. My pain was well controlled.

    Ironically, I don’t remember the moment I was able to walk again without any aids. But the best part is that now, almost ten years later, my hip feels and moves better than ever. I credit that to Dr. Millis’ super skills along with the physical therapists at the hospital who helped with my rehab and the years of follow-up appointments with Dr. Millis. I am even able to run (shh, don’t tell that to anyone because, technically, I’m not supposed to) and I do yoga! Anyone who knew me before the surgery knew that even crossing my legs Indian-style was difficult for me to do. My hope is to be able to remain active and avoid a total hip replacement when I’m older. It astounds me to think that without Dr. Millis, I might have had a hip replaced at age 13 (that was the only other option at that time).

    I’ve come very far physically but that’s not the only way my life has been impacted by Children’s Hospital Boston. I was so inspired by all the people at Children’s that when I went to college in Boston, I volunteered at the hospital, to give back to the place that has given me so much. I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in public health to continue to be able to give back and make sure everyone receives the same great care that I was so privileged to have.

    So while my scars have faded, the memories and influences from Children’s will always be in my heart. Thank you, Dr. Millis and everyone at Children’s for being the best!

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