I’m nearly 36 years old and I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia on both sides at the beginning of 2020 – it took me completely by surprise. I had this annoying pain in the right side of my hip that I noticed a year and a half ago, but I just chalked it up to pains that come with age. Sometimes when I was walking, I would feel a sharp pain in my hip and I would be taken by surprise and have to walk a bit goofy. I thought it would go away – and it did sometimes, but then it came back. I did the Camino de Santiago in the summer of 2019, walking over 1000km across Spain. Just before I started, my hip was aching, but I didn’t want to cancel. Luckily for me, it got better, but everything else fell apart. I walked with a lot of knee pain and severe achilles tendinitis in both feet. Months after I returned, so did my hip pain…. and then, I started clicking. Every step with my right leg was met with a funny clicking sound and I couldn’t go unnoticed. I thought, maybe I should really go to the doctor and that’s when I found out.

How could I have lived my whole life without knowing about any of this? Looking back, there were some signs but not definitive. I was a “W” sitter through present day, I had very loose ligaments and so tore several in various sports and falls, and if I was tired people would ask me if my leg was ok as if I was walking with a limp (which i never noticed).

Fast forward to now and I’m scheduled for arthroscopic repair of my torn labrum and cleaning up of the acetabulum, a PAO, a femoral osteotomy and the possibility of a tibia osteotomy – all on the same day. I feel like that escalated quickly. I am struggling with my decision to trust my doctors. The pain isn’t unbearable for me, I’ve made it this far. However, I have noticed some changes in the last 6 months including some reduction in range of motion, some nerve pain while in certain positions and good days followed by sore days. It’s a roller coaster.

I don’t know anyone who has gone through this, I’ve never had any surgery so it’s just scary (plus I’m having some major ones) and I really don’t want it to affect me doing the things I love like SCUBA diving, hiking, canoeing, walking etc. I have one month until surgery. What words can you leave me with? Is it worth it years after? If there are any people in their 30s or 40s that have had any of these, I’d like to hear about recovery. Thanks for your support!

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