As Susan posted a few weeks ago, Whitney will, Lord willing, have surgery on her left hip next week Friday. I had no idea, but when babies are born, they do not really have a hip socket. The ball joint between the pelvis and the femur begins developing around six months. The ball on the head of the femur is cartilage. When the cartilage comes into contact with the growth plate on the pelvis, the cartilage begins to turn into bone (ossify), and the pelvis begins to develop around the head of the femur. Whitney's right hip is developing properly, but her left hip is not because the femur is not in contact with the pelvis (i.e. it is dislocated). The doctors hope that by cutting one of the tendons in Whitney's hip, it will relax her hip and permit the femur to come into contact with the pelvis. The doctors believe that there is about an even likelihood that the surgery will be successful.
The fact that Whitney's hip is dislocated would not be a major issue if her right hip was also dislocated. But the imbalance created by having one hip in the socket and the other dislocated hinders walking, standing and sitting. The possibility of significantly improved mobility for Whitney made this surgery worthwhile to us.
The surgery seems relatively simple compared to her shunt and back closure surgeries in January. Nonetheless, we'll be staying overnight at the hospital. Please pray that the surgery is successful--the doctors have said that they'll know within a week whether it has triggered the appropriate development of the femur and the pelvis!
After surgery, Whitney will wear a brace to stabilize her hip while the tendon heals (it will grow back together, hopefully without as much tension). We have the brace already. Apparently, it's a big deal that it's pink. Our surgeon's office had not seen one in pink before. We hope to post some pictures of Whitney wearing it (we have it already) later this week.