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natalieMAINBABIES must be screened in the first months of life if a shocking rise in hip replacements for under-60s is to be addressed, say campaigners.

As figures showed hip replacements in that age category has risen 76% in a decade, a charity is calling for greater awareness of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip.

DDH occurs when the ball and socket hip joint fails to develop correctly and if left untreated it can lead to disability, long-term pain, arthritis and ultimately hip replacements.

But years of surgery caused by DDH could be avoided for many with effective early screening of babies, says Spica Warrior, the UK’s only DDH dedicated charity.

Commenting on the massive rise in hip ops, charity founder Natalie Trice said: “With an ageing population, and the continuing late diagnosis of DDH in babies, children and young adults, we weren’t shocked.

“Early diagnosis is vital. A consistent, strict screening process and professionals being aware of the signs could mean the difference between healthy hips and a child who ends up in constant pain.

“My son was a late diagnosis and he is now six and still enduring operations and uncertainty but and we aren’t alone,” added Natalie.

Those most at risk are babies where there is a family history of hip problems, those in the breech position or with a fixed foot deformity or torticollis.

If parents notice uneven creases in their child’s legs and buttocks, clicking of the hips or limited motion it is vital they seek advice.

Spica Warrior: Tel. 07825 615303

www.spicawarrior.com

PICTURED: Natalie Trice and her sons, Eddie, left, and Lucas, who was diagnosed with DDH at four months