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Baby confined for 10-months, in a brace, inspires creation of Australia’s first Healthy Hips Week

Hip dysplasia; Developmental dysplasia of the hip

At just 3-weeks of age, Eve was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH). She spent 10 months, 23-hours a day, in a full body harness followed by a hip brace. Just before her 1st birthday, Eve was allowed to go brace-free during the day. Four this year, Eve stopped bracing at two years of age but continues to require yearly reviews with an orthopaedic surgeon to monitor the development of her hips. Also known as hip dysplasia, this common condition occurs when the ball and socket of the hip do not fit together in their 'normal' position. Sometimes this is due to abnormal development and/or lack of growth of the hip joint.

Eve's mum Sarah says, “I was bewildered when Eve’s two-month stint in a hip harness turned into a two-year ordeal”. While her youngest daughter’s journey was less stressful, Sarah has become all too familiar with the need to assist hip dysplasia-affected families who are overwhelmed and uninformed about the condition. “Even as an occupational therapist, I found it hard to navigate the experience of DDH with my children. That inspired me to set up not-for-profit organisation Healthy Hips Australia and create Healthy Hips Week.”

Australia's first Healthy Hips Week, 10-16 April 2016, highlights the importance of knowing the risk factors for and potential indicators of hip dysplasia. “Over the past few years, the incident rate as well as late diagnosis of the condition, have both increased”, says Sarah. Early diagnosis of DDH optimises the treatment outcome, with late diagnosis said to be after 3-months of age. Sarah says, "Hip dysplasia affects people across the lifespan. It should be on everyone's radar; waiting until a diagnosis of it is too late.”

Healthy Hips Week has been welcomed by the DDH parent community and receives backing from the Australian Orthopaedic Association.  Bruce Foster, current deputy director of the department of orthopaedic surgery at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide and Patron of Healthy Hips Australia says, “Healthy Hips Week is a very positive initiative”.  


For further information and interview opportunities with Sarah Twomey, Bruce Foster and parents of children affected by DDH, please contact Sarah:



Healthy Hips Week 10-16 April:


Hip dysplasia awareness flyer:


Safe swaddling guidelines:


Hip dysplasia stories: