Hiplog update – a possible reason

A news report last week might give a clue about the effect on me of my congenital hip problem – if you’d like to read this before I go on, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

If you’ve been one of my online friends for a few years, you’ll know that I had a hip replacement when I was 56 because I had severe arthritis in my right hip.  The reason I had arthritis was that the sockets of my hip joints were unusually shallow.  This was something I was born with, was not severe enough to give me ‘clicky hips’ as a baby, would not have shown up except in an x-ray and wouldn’t cause problems until middle age, but appreciably younger than age-related arthritis would affect me.  Furthermore, it is hereditary, but only through the female line.

My mother did not have the condition because, although she had arthritis, she didn’t have a replacement joint until she was seventy, which is a normal age, especially as she had had several bad falls on that side.  Nor does my sister, who is about to have a new hip but she’s in her mid-sixties.  So I warned my children to stay slim and active but not overdo the weight-bearing exercise and shrugged it off as bad luck.

However, when I was a baby, my parents (who owned and ran a largish hotel in Weymouth) employed a young man – I can’t remember in what capacity, but he came from a big family and dearly loved babies and small children, and he used to carry me around with him while he worked.  My mother told me how he took a large shawl, swaddled me snugly, then wrapped it round himself too so that he had his hands free.  I was very content, apparently, though it sounds jolly hot to me now.  But maybe it wasn’t good for my young bones.

I hope that’s it, because it reassures me that my own children are much less likely to develop the same thing.  I carried them around as babies, but just slung on my hip, they had to learn to cling on like monkeys.  I realise now it was the ideal position for healthy hip development.   I made life hard for myself really, lugging a baby around much of the day, but they liked the closeness and so did I.

I’m not due to see my surgeon for another 15 months or so, for a five-year check-up.  I must remember to mention it.  He’s acutely interested in research, as you might expect from a quite young consultant, and told me about the problems with metal-on-metal joints before there was any publicity about them at all.  In fact, he said that all surgeons at Norwich refused to use them and that he’d had to do many revisions of those that had been done elsewhere.

11 comments on “Hiplog update – a possible reason

  1. IndigoRoth

    Hey Z! Sad to hear about your hip condition, but fascinated by the “baby carrying” story. Mine should be monkeys too, as they lived on my hip because of my bad back =) Fingers crossed! Indigo x

  2. 63mago

    I have not heared the word “swaddling” before. In fact a pretty old way to keep babies silent; the baroque (religious) art knows the Fatschenkind. The scholars of the enlightenment did not like “fatschen” or “pucken” (“wickeln” in some dialects), argumenting that it’s unnatural and contra the natural (and thus devine) development of the body; nevertheless it was common right into the 19th century, in rural areas of Bavaria and Austria in the 20th century too. The Museum of medical History in Ingolstadt had a small exhibition about the topic last year.

  3. Rog

    From swaddling to waddling.

    I’m going to be in the market for a right hip replacement before long (13 stone marathon runners beware) so will be in the market for some serious mentoring from yourself and Craig Revel-Horrid.

  4. allotmentqueen

    Hmm. “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7

    Been around for some time. Not that He lived long enough to get the arthritic hips.

    I think it might depend on how tightly you were swaddled and for how long at a time. I distinctly remembering swaddling one of mine but I think it was more for helping them to settle and get to sleep. I understood it was done because it mimicked being in the womb, so therefore I wouldn’t expect it to be done for that long.

    That’s some hotel!

  5. Z Post author

    If you haven’t got the tendency to dodgy hips, it wouldn’t matter anyway. And so many cultures had the tradition of swaddling, there must be benefits too. It certainly kept me happy and the downside, if that was the cause, didn’t show itself for several decades.

    Rog, you’ll be a new man afterwards and you’re so fit, you’ll recover very quickly. Just take advice and every precaution against dislocation, it’s worth great care for a couple of months to have a quick return to fitness. Let us know when it’s being done so that we can pace the floor, worrying until we know all has gone well.

  6. Mike Horner

    It’s well worth having it done, Rog. I had a new knee joint installed ten or twelve years ago, and it’s given me greater freedom and activity than I’d had for a good many years preceding that.

  7. Roses

    My MIL attempted swaddling Boy. He wasn’t having any of it and his favourite place was on my hip, back or perched on my shoulders. Yes, we’re definitely kin to primates!

    I can see why you’d be concerned about the implications for your kids. Is there anyway their hips could be scanned and assessed for potential difficulties?

    Hoping Wink’s coming OP goes well.


  8. Z Post author

    It’s not when you’re in Norwich that you may have a problem, Rog. I wouldn’t want you to be a Diss-placed person, it would be so dissappointing (sorry for spelling mistake, a touch of disslexia)

    The children/grandchildren could be x-rayed, but what’s the point? They will have it or they won’t, and it’s totally curable with an operation. It’s nothing like scanning for a hereditary tendency to cancer or high cholesterol. If any of them were a keen runner or took part in a contact sport, it might be worth checking, but you have to keep a balanced outlook.

  9. Beryl Ament

    I don’t know about the swaddling business. My daughter-in-law is from Rwanda and she always (somehow or other) attached the babies to her back with a big towel wrapped around her middle. They loved it, her hands were free and being held so tight didn’t seem to effect legs/hips or anything.


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