EVERY YEAR, THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN SUFFER FROM DEBILITATING HIP AND BONE RELATED CONDITIONS

which could otherwise be avoided if detected early or diagnosed accurately.  These children live life having to go through procedure after procedure so as to have as close to normal a life as possible.

Hip Dysplasia (DDH) is the most common developmentalhip deformity in children, and the single most common cause of osteoarthritis of the hip in young and older adults. Every infant around the world undergoes a physical examination at birth to check for hip stability. Beyond universal clinical examination however, there is little consensus among health care providers, practitioners, and across centres regarding best practices for screening, diagnosis, and treatment of DDH. Missed or late diagnosis of DDH is a major cause for children and young adults undergoing premature total hip replacement.

The team at BC Children's Hospital, under the leadership of Dr. Kishore Mulpuri, is leading an effort to establish best practices in screening for and early assessment of DDH. Their focus is to expand a registry initially created for multi-centre observational DDH study. The registry focuses on patients diagnosed with DDH between the ages of 0 and 10 years, following them until maturity and building an understanding of how DDH has affected their everyday lives.

This registry will be the first of its kind, in both size and scope, and will include at least 16 centres, located in five countries, across four continents. With this wealth of information, Dr. Mulpuri and his team can pursue several areas of investigation that will have a direct impact on the screening, treatment methods, and standard of care for DDH around the world. More efficient and effective screening processes will reduce the impact and burden of care on families. With appropriate and optimized screening methods, families will experience a reduction in unnecessary clinic visits, and more importantly, in premature and painful surgeries for those who suffer from DDH. This, in turn, will lead to cost savings to health care systems. Moreover, with appropriate knowledge translation efforts, every child around the world has the potential to benefit, even those in resource-poor countries.

With the right resources and adequate funding, we can change the lives of children affected by DDH, and more importantly, work towards a future where no child has to suffer as a result of delayed diagnosis ever again.

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