In this section
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a dislocation of the hip caused by an abnormal development of the hip joint in some babies. See our
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) fact sheet for more information.
Babies with DDH often need to wear a special brace (medically called an orthosis). The Denis Browne bar (DB bar) is one type of brace used to treat DDH. The DB bar has cuffs that go around the thighs and are attached to a bar. This holds the hips and knees up (flexed) with the legs
apart (abducted). This position allows contact between the thigh and hip bones and helps the muscles and ligaments to strengthen while the hip is developing.
See also our
Denis Browne Bar for DDH video.
Your surgeon or paediatrician may advise that your baby wears the DB bar:
What should I do if my baby has diarrhoea and the brace has
become soiled, but we are not supposed to take the brace off at all?
If you are told not to remove the brace, it can be cleaned using wipes or a damp cloth. Contact your orthotist if you are concerned, or feel that it is necessary to remove the brace.
What is femoral nerve palsy?
The femoral nerve passes close to the hip joint, and in very rare cases this nerve may be affected by a baby's position in the orthosis, and this is called femoral nerve palsy. If your baby has this condition, the quadricep muscle in the front of their thigh won't be able to
work properly and your baby won't be able to straighten out or kick the knee. It is usually temporary and your baby should make a full recovery.
Developed by The Royal Children's Hospital Orthotics and Prosthetic department. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.
Reviewed August 2020.
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