Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program
What is the Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program?
The Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program at Seattle Children’s offers complete care for children, teens and young adults with a wide range of hip conditions. A child may be born with a hip condition (congenital) or it may arise later as the hip joint grows and develops. Some of our patients do not have pain or problems until they are young adults, even though the hip condition was present at birth or developed during childhood.
We offer many treatments and services, both with and without surgery.
What's special about the Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program at Seattle Children's?
Our experienced team is skilled at finding and treating the underlying cause of your child’s hip problem. We also work to prevent and treat effects that can come later to avoid arthritis or the need for hip replacement. Our coordinated, multidisciplinary program is the only one of its kind in our region (Washington, Montana, Idaho and Alaska).
If your family has been told your child needs surgery and you would like an expert second opinion, we can arrange for an additional assessment. For more information, email HipTeam@seattlechildrens.org.
The compassionate experts you need are here
- To give the best care possible, our team includes pediatric experts in bones and joints (orthopedics) and specialists in imaging studies and physical therapy.
- The surgeons, doctors, nurses and others on our team are specially trained to diagnose and treat conditions in children, teens and young adults. This matters because children are not little adults.
- Our doctors are known nationally for their skill in treating hip disorders in young patients, such as developmental dysplasia of the hip.
- Our program leader, Dr. Todd Blumberg, focuses on treating hip conditions from infancy into adulthood. He will work to restore your child’s hip to a high level of function, with both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options.
- Our team members partner with experts around the world on research to understand the causes of hip conditions, improve the accuracy of diagnostic testing and create better surgical approaches. We track long-term outcomes of our patients so we can improve treatments for young people with hip problems.
- Complex conditions that affect your child’s bones, muscles and joints may affect other parts of their body too. We connect you with the many types of Seattle Children’s experts your child may need — on the same day, in the same clinic, whenever we can.
- Read more about why to choose Seattle Children’s for orthopedic care.
The most advanced diagnosis and treatment
- Accurate diagnosis is the first step to effective treatment. Our team is experienced in making high-quality imaging studies using ultrasound, MRI, CT scans, bone scans and X-rays.
- We will work with your family to design a treatment plan that is right for your child. To restore or improve your child’s health, function and quality of life, we often use methods like medicines, physical therapy and braces. We recommend surgery only when we believe it will give your child the best results.
- When surgery is needed, your child is in the hands of surgeons with many years of experience in treating children, teens and young adults with hip problems. Dr. Blumberg performs more than 40 hip preservation surgeries each year.
- We have years of experience making custom braces and splints to help correct hip problems. Read about our orthotics and prosthetics services.
Treating your whole child
- Our team has deep knowledge of childhood hip conditions and the problems they may cause in young adults. We guide your family to the best treatment options for your child.
- We see your child as a whole person. Babies, children and teens are still growing, so they may need different care than adults do, like treatment that takes their growth plates into account.
- At Seattle Children’s, your child’s team has special training in the medical, surgical, emotional and social needs of young people.
- We give your child coordinated care over the long term, from newborn to young adult. Our doctors partner with orthopedic surgeons at UW Medicine to care for adult patients.
Support for your family
- Having a child with a hip problem can be stressful for the whole family. From the first visit to follow-up, our team will work with you to give your child seamless care.
- We help you fully understand your child’s condition and support you in making choices that are right for your family.
- For your convenience, our doctors see patients at locations in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett and Federal Way.
- Seattle Children’s serves children and families from around the Northwest and beyond. We can help with financial counseling, education, housing, transportation, interpreter services and spiritual care. Read about our services for patients and families.
Conditions We Treat
We treat babies, children, teens and young adults with a broad range of hip conditions, such as:
- Hip dysplasia
- Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE)
- Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (also known as Perthes disease)
- Hip infections
- Hip fractures
- Posttraumatic deformity
- Avascular necrosis of the hip
Treatments and Services We Offer
Our Orthopedics team is known for creating innovative treatments and providing world-class care. In addition to prevention, our doctors offer early diagnosis and advanced techniques to treat and manage problems with the bones, joints and muscles.
Seattle Children’s has the largest group of board-certified pediatric radiologists in the Northwest. Our radiologists have special expertise using imaging studies to look for bone and joint changes. Having high-quality images helps the team diagnose your child, treat their problem and help prevent future issues. We also use imaging studies to track the progress of your child’s treatment.
We tailor imaging studies to your child’s age and condition. We may use ultrasound, MRI, CT scans, bone scans or X-rays. We use advanced 3T MRI to create high-quality images of the hip bones, cartilage and other soft tissues.
If your child needs imaging that uses radiation, we use the lowest amount possible to produce the best image. We have a 3D low-dose radiation X-ray machine, for safer full-body 3D images.
Our doctors do both minimally invasive procedures and open surgeries, depending on the nature of the problem. We are experienced with a wide range of procedures. These include femoral osteotomy, periacetabular osteotomy and surgical hip dislocation.
- In a minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon makes small cuts (incisions) on your child’s hip and performs surgery using X-ray guidance.
- In an open procedure, the surgeon makes a larger incision on your child’s hip. This lets the doctor see the bone as they operate.
During an operation, the surgeon may:
- Reshape bone
- Rotate the hip socket so the joint moves better
- Put screws or pins in the bone to keep it in place so it can heal properly
Braces, splints and casts
- We have years of experience making custom braces and splints to help correct hip problems in babies. Read about braces and splints and our other orthotics and prosthetics services.
- Young children (age 5 and under) with certain conditions may need to wear a special body cast, called a spica cast (PDF). (Spanish)
- Physical therapists (PTs) use exercise and play to improve your child’s strength, balance and coordination. If needed, PTs will teach your child to use equipment like crutches or a wheelchair.
- Occupational therapy (OT) will help your child build strength and coordination to do daily tasks like dressing, bathing, eating, playing and school activities.
- Sports physical therapy can help school-age children and teens return to their full activities after disease, injury or surgery. Our sports physical therapists work with your child to safely return them to play and to prevent future injuries.
Hip Preservation Team
Our team includes pediatric orthopedic surgeons, pediatricians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants specializing in pediatric orthopedics. All the doctors are board certified in their specialties and provide surgical and nonsurgical care for your child.
If your family has been told your child needs surgery and you would like an expert second opinion, we can arrange for further assessment. For more information, email HipTeam@seattlechildrens.org.
Scheduling an appointment
- How to schedule an appointment at Seattle Children’s.
- If you already have an appointment, learn more about how to prepare.
- Learn about resources related to bones, joints and sports medicine. These include useful links, videos and recommended reading for you and your family.