Patient Stories

Amber’s Story

Hello my name is Amber and I was first diagnosed with hip dysplasia at the age of 19, but the pain started long before I was diagnosed. Growing up I played many sports such as basketball, soccer and softball. I never had any problems with hip pain until I was about 10 or 11 years old. When the pain first presented itself it was only occasional and seemed to flare up after a day of increased activity. I ignored it over the next few years and chalked it up to normal growing pains.

By the time I was 18 years old I started a waitressing job and noticed a large increase in the frequency and severity of the hip pain I was experiencing. The pain got so bad that it was hard to walk after a long shift, but when I would sit to rest it felt as though my hip was popping out of the socket. I couldn’t find any relief, so I finally decided to go to the doctor.

I went into my primary care doctor and she did an x-ray on both of my hips. She told me I had hip dysplasia and referred me to a orthopedist. I had an MRI prior to seeing the orthopedist. The orthopedist told me that the MRI showed that the labrum in my left hip was torn and my dysplasia on my left side was severe and would require surgery. On top of the hip dysplasia I also had stage 3 arthritis in both my hips and my lower back, the back arthritis was most likely caused by walking in an odd way to accommodate my hip pain for so many years.

After seeing a few other doctors over the next few months for second and third opinions, I made an appointment with a surgeon for a consultation. He told me that my left hip would require surgery in the near future because it was already so advanced. The only surgery that the surgeon recommend was a periacetebular hip osteotomy.

On July 11th 2011 I had the PAO on my left side. The surgery itself was about 6 hours long and I stayed in the hospital for 8 days. While in the hospital I had an epidural placed in my back for the first 4 days after my surgery, along with a catheter placed since you cant get out of bed. On the fourth day in the hospital they removed both of these along with the drainage tubes near the incision. By the time I left the hospital I was able to walk with my crutches and get in and out of bed with assistance. The surgery did leave a 9 inch scar, but would lighten up over time. At the 8 week post op date I was released to go back part time to work (I work at a medical office at this point) , to drive again, and to start physical therapy.

Over the next few years my left hip healed very nicely and I hardly experience any pain. But then came the time to talk about surgery on my right side. Both me and my doctor decided to proceed with a PAO on my right side so it didn’t advance as far as my left hip had.

I had my right surgery on march 6th 2014, and I’m currently 5 weeks post op. The experience was this time was about the same as the previous time although my surgeon switched to a new hospital. The recovery seems to be going well this time around also, but I will keep you all updated on my recovery.