Hesperian Health Guides
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Life can be made
Hip ‘flexion’ contractures (in which the thighs stay bent forward at the hips) are often difficult to straighten and require special techniques.
|Advanced hip contractures like this often require surgery.|
|Less advanced hip contractures like this can sometimes be straightened using positioning and straps.||The child lies face down with a wide strap pulling his butt down.|
cushion under thighs (avoid pressure on knees)
|The child should spend as many hours as possible each day in this position. And if possible, also at night. Knees should be checked for early signs of pressure sores every hour or so. (See Chapter 24.)|
Life can be made more interesting for the child during the weeks or months of stretching by using a lying frame on which she can move about.
The child with more severe contractures at the hips may need to be strapped on an angled frame.
old tires or anything to lift body
plywood or wood
Leather or canvas strips work as hinges that support legs.
|The angle of the leg boards is set to give gentle but continuous pressure against the thighs. As the contracture is gradually corrected, the angle is changed by raising the leg boards or by lowering the body board.||For children with different angles of contracture in each hip, the 2 leg boards can be adjusted differently.|
For methods to correct contractures, see Chapter 59.