Jodi

HAVE A QUESTION: I am 43, have left hip dysplasia that was diagnosed one year ago. Due to the loss of cartilage and deterioration of my joint, I have to have a THR. I have been getting cortisone injections, which have helped immensely. My first injection lasted 8 months. However, my second injection was three months ago, and the pain is coming back. Daily pain. Hurts to sit too long, and I sit for a living. Wake up with pain, always achy. I have pain in my buttocks, off-centered to the left, and I have some pain going down my leg now on the inside thigh that feels like a nerve pain (that’s the only way I can describe it). Are these symptoms anyone else has experienced?

My surgeon told us in August that I will need surgery “within two years,” and it is all dependent on my pain. Since I am young, we are all trying to wait as long as possible for the THR. There are so many factors I am considering as to when. I know there’s no crystal ball out there to say GO NOW, or WAIT, etc. But I really would like to talk to anyone who has a similar situation for advice. My mother had a left THR three months ago from hip dysplasia, but she is 68. Big difference in age.

Can anyone give me advice, info, their personal story so I have something to gauge my situation on? I am discouraged today because it’s only been three months, and the cortisone is not working like the first shot.

And to top things off, I am getting married in July next year. I am so worried if I wait, I won’t be able to walk down the aisle (beach wedding) on my wedding day. I’m not sure if I should wait, or just schedule the surgery.

The other factor that is huge is cost. I have a high-deductible health plan, and after meeting with my insurance agent, my costs are going up next year, along with everyone else’s. I’m afraid if I don’t get the surgery done at least next year, that I won’t be able to afford it in 2018.

Sorry for the long story. Can anyone help me? I am feeling so down right now and unsure what to do. Thanks in advance.




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  1. Helen says:

    Hi Jodi,

    I am in a very similar situation with my right hip. I am 48 and have had hip pain for the last 4 years. I thought it was coming from my back but it turned out to be a torn labrum. I was shocked to hear I have dysplasia in my right hip and that THP was my best option. My first cortisone shot gave me 1 week of pain relief then I was referred to an arthroscopic surgeon who was going to try to repair the torn labrum but when I arrived for my pre-op appointment he decided that by the time I healed from the surgery it would be time for THP so there was no point. He has done 3 more cortisone shots over the past year. They last about 4 months but by the 3rd month I am having enough pain to cause limping. It is the limping that is a major problem for me as it triggers my back problem. Also, it is my right hip and driving aggravates it even when I have cortisone on board.
    Stem cell injection ($2,000-$3,500 and not covered by insurance) was suggested as was Synvisc ($1,000-$2,000, also not covered). Both of these options didn’t seem to offer much more than 6 months of possible pain relief and they cost about as much as the surgery copay. While stem cell injections might help the labrum to heal, the dysplasia means it is going to get damaged again so I’m not looking at years of pain relief with either choice. So, I think I have decided to go ahead with the replacement this spring. Haven’t booked it yet but we have teenage kids and we like to hike for vacations and I have finally decided that I would rather have a properly working hip while I am young enough and healthy enough to enjoy vacations with my family rather than putting up with all this pain for another 1-2 years like 2 surgeons want me to do. Neither could give me a good reason to wait.
    I think THP is reasonable at your age especially if you aren’t going to start running marathons on your new hip. All of my surgeons (even the ones who want me to wait) say “THP will fix all your hip problems” as they breeze out of the room. My hip arthroscopist, my physical therapist and my gynecologist (consulted because the cortisone shots are giving me wicked hot flashes) all think THP now rather than later is the logical way to go.

    I finally found a well respected surgeon last month who said he would do a THP when I decide I am ready. Just having that choice handed to me was a big relief.
    Good luck with your decision-making. I know how this can get you down. Whenever I am feeling depressed about it I try to focus on the fact that at least we live in a time and place where we can have this problem fixed. Imagine if it were 50 years ago!

  2. Allison says:

    I had my first THR when I was 29. You can read my story on here too. http://hipdysplasia.org/patient-stories/adult/allison/

    If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to read some of the other stories on here. There are a number of us who have had THR before age 40. For me, my decision on the timing was more on the mental side of things, not the physical side. I was told “I’d know” when it was time, and while that’s true, I definitely had doubts and thought I was doing it too soon. But looking back, I’m glad I did it when I did, even if I’ll need a second one later. Just don’t feel like you’re “too young.” If you need it, you need it!

  3. Sandra says:

    Jodi,

    Here is my story, I hope it helps.
    I just left my ortho. He said I am going to have to have a THR. I am 43. I have suffered through this mess for 5 years. I am nervous, understandably so, but I am done with this limiting my life. In 2012 I was diagnosed with a torn labrum. In 2014 I had a labrum repair surgery and bone shaving to try and correct an impingement. I had 3 months of PT and my previous Dr. told me I would most likely need a THR if the surgery didn’t work. I had problems walking after the surgery, problems that never went away. In July of 15 I slipped in the shower, then in August I fell in a parking lot. Both accidents were caused by my inability to walk or even step normally. After the fall in August, I became 100% reliant on a cane. I am about to go to 2 canes. I refuse to focus on how young I am to be getting such a surgery, but instead, focus on how young I am to have to deal with this pain and limitation. I am thankful I can have the surgery, but it is not without some hurdles. I have to go through heart testing, cardio fitness testing, blood testing and I have to remain off work (I have been off since Thanksgiving). I had a steroid injection in August; it lasted about 4 weeks. I had my last steroid injection in early November; it lasted 4 days. My Dr. told me the shots will become less effective as time goes on. My pain radiates through my groin, down through my thigh to my knee and also in my lower back. I can’t stand for more than 5 minutes and can’t sleep at night without being awoken with horrible cramps in my leg. My pain is like someone running a knife from my knee, up my thigh, to my groin and then on the side of my hip. The pain in my lower back is a dull ache. I am not looking forward to this long process, but if I don’t have the surgery the pain will last a lot longer than this process to get the surgery. My Dr. said it is a defect in my hip and nothing I could have done would have prevented this from happening, he also said I have a less severe form of dysplasia in my other hip and I will need to have testing every 12 months to monitor that hip. He also said I may never walk normally because my soft tissue has adapted to the defect and chances are it might never re-adapt to a fixed hip.

  4. Chelle says:

    I am 48 and have been suffering with symptomology of hip dysphasia for 6 mos . 2 nd opinion directs THR as the only thing that will fix the congenital issue , very unnerving , however, I am convinced there is no sense in suffering with this any longer than neccessary , I don’t have other medical problems ,am I missing anything ?

  5. Chelle says:

    I am 48 and have been suffering with symptomology of hip dysplasia for 6 mos . 2 nd opinion directs THR as the only thing that will fix the congenital issue , very unnerving , however, I am convinced there is no sense in suffering with this any longer than neccessary , I don’t have other medical problems ,am I missing anything ?

  6. Pam says:

    I had both my hips replaced 7 years ago. One in March of 2010, when I was 44 and the other in July of 2010, when I was 45. I have not regretted it once! It all started with hip bursitis when I was 38; 4 years later I was diagnosed with hip arthritis. I went to physical therapy and chiropractors and nothing helped. Six months after the arthritis diagnosis, one hip was higher than the other and twisted forward, which was making my back curve like I had scoliosis. By then I had developed arthritis in the sacroiliac area and my knees and bone spurs in my neck, causing migraines! I still had not heard the term acetabular dysplasia. I was in pain all the time. Sitting, standing and lying down caused me pain. I was taking diclofenac sodium all the time and could not function physically without it. Opioid medications do not help me, I metabolize them before they reach an effective level in my bloodstream. So I just dealt with the pain. 1.5 years after the arthritis diagnosis, I started having bone on bone crunching in both my hips; all my cartilage was gone. I felt about 80 yrs old. I couldn’t do anything with my family. Walking 20 feet to get to the motorized carts in the grocery store was almost more than I could do. After I started walking with crutches in December 2009 (exactly 2 yrs after the arthritis diagnosis), I decided to go back to the orthopedic surgeon and that’s when I heard I had acetabular dysplasia in both hips. THR was my only option for relief. So I did it. I thought after the first hip I would be able to wait a while before doing the other one. But after realizing how great my hips could feel, I wanted the other one done ASAP. My surgeon made me wait 3 months between surgeries. My life has improved 100% since those surgeries. I still have all the other arthritis but I can walk. I can shop, I go hiking, I go to fairs and amusement parks; things I wouldn’t even have considered before the surgery. I had gastric sleeve surgery 2 years ago and I lost 90 lbs. Every part of my body feels better now. Even if these hips only last 15 years, that is 15 great years that would have been miserable. If the revision surgery is not successful, it will still have been worth it. I’ll invest in a good wheelchair. Better than a wheelchair at 45!

  7. Donna Battle says:

    Amongst endurance, when you sit use a pillow to support your back Practice what works If it isn’t exactly right may cause shortness of breath or the pain relief may not work completely Practice the right pillow and the exact position Take it around with you

  8. Tina says:

    I can relate to these situations. I started having major pain in my hip at the age of 40. After several appointments, the doctors repeatedly told me it was my back and recommended Motrin and physical therapy. I was then sent to a back specialist and even had epidural injections. I went back and insisted it was my hip. I was then referred to an orthopedist who did an MRI. The MRI showed a torn labrum. I was sent to a sports medicine orthopedist who told me that I needed to lose weight, walk with a cane, use Motrin, physical therapy, and years later would be a candidate for a hip replacement but that I was too young to be considered. I got a cortisone injection that was semi-effective and short lived. I asked to be referred for a second opinion and was then told that I have DDH in both hips. I’ve lost weight, use Motrin, have done physical therapy, and am still in daily pain. All the while, I have a 20 month old son. I am strongly considering a hip replacement, but have been told repeatedly that I am too young and they do not last long. I have read about periacetabular osteotomy, and have reached out to my doctor to see if I might be a candidate for it. If anyone has had periacetabular osteotomy, I would be interested in learning about your experience. I will be 42 soon and am curious if others with THP at this age have been successful.

  9. Darryl says:

    Hi, I am 45 and was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at the age of 32.As anyone with this condition knows the pain can be mild or very extreme at varying times. I have tried to work out if weather or food can make things worse but 13 years on from being diagnosed I cannot put my finger on what helps or even makes things worse. I go for a yearly x-ray t my local NHS hospital. Each time I see my surgeon I am always asked how I am doing and how the pain is. I feel that until I am unable to walk I will not have a hip replacement as I have seen the other side to hip surgery through the eyes of my mother ( she is 78 so replacement surgery is expected) her operation went badly wrong and 5 years on I am now her full time carer s well as holding down a full time job. Some days I have a niggling pain and sometimes I can be in real discomfort ranging from hip\ knee\ thigh pain. Nothing seems to bring the pain on which I find very annoying. Personally I find driving aggravates my condition greatly,I try to walk every day to keep my joints from seizing up . I have researched Hip Dysplasia greatly over the years and everyone seems to have varying symptoms, I don’t like the idea of having to have several operations as they only guarantee 10-12 years. Also once one hip is done the opposite will also deteriorate so it basically goes around in a vicious circle. I’d love to hear from other sufferers.

  10. Darryl says:

    Hi, I am 45 and was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at the age of 32.As anyone with this condition knows the pain can be mild or very extreme at varying times. I have tried to work out if weather or food can make things worse but 13 years on from being diagnosed I cannot put my finger on what helps or even makes things worse. I go for a yearly x-ray at my local NHS hospital. Each time I see my surgeon I am always asked how I am doing and how the pain is. I feel that until I am unable to walk I will not have a hip replacement as I have seen the other side to hip surgery through the eyes of my mother ( she is 78 so replacement surgery is expected) her operation went badly wrong and 5 years on I am now her full time carer as well as holding down a full time job. Some days I have a niggling pain and sometimes I can be in real discomfort ranging from hip\ knee\ thigh pain. Nothing seems to bring the pain on which I find very annoying. Personally I find driving aggravates my condition greatly,I try to walk every day to keep my joints from seizing up . I have researched Hip Dysplasia greatly over the years and everyone seems to have varying symptoms, I don’t like the idea of having to have several operations as they only guarantee 10-12 years. Also once one hip is done the opposite will also deteriorate so it basically goes around in a vicious circle. I’d love to hear from other sufferers.

  11. Pam says:

    I wasn’t diagnosed with hip dysplasia until I had absolutely no cartilage left, so I really had no other options. A good wheelchair or 2 THRs. Since I was only 44, I decided to enjoy my life while I could. Who knows how long we have anyway. I had constant pain and opioids and steroids didn’t help me. NAISADs helped a little. It’s been 7 years since my surgeries and the only pain I have is some iliopsoas tendonitis, mainly on the left side. I can absolutely live with that! I had gastric sleeve surgery 2 years ago and lost 90 lbs. Now I only take Tylenol for pain, and it works!

  12. Liz says:

    I started feeling pain in my groin when I was 41. Then came the ‘severe osteoarthritis’ in right hip diagnoses. Then the X rays. I had several prolotherapy injections. Then I was told a year ago that I had hip dysplasia. I feel like I was blindsided. I see the surgeon next month for a follow up. I am done with this. I miss being able to enjoy long walks.

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