Patient Stories


I am a 20 year old female and was diagnosed with hip dysplasia almost two years ago. I have been active my whole life and am fortunate enough to play a high impact sport in college. Three days into my freshman year I was on a run and felt a painful pop in my right hip. I finished up the run but the pain got significantly worse as the day progressed.

I saw an athletic trainer who told me that I had injured my hip flexor and I had to sit out of sports for a while. When the pain didn’t get better and spread to my left hip, I had to get an MRI, which showed that surprisingly enough I had several tears and stretches on both hips. I went to a hip specialist so that he could tell me when I would be able to play again. I had no such luck. He told me that I was going to have to get a bilateral PAO sooner than later. The surgery was scheduled for late December and I got the right one done right after I finished up my classes.

I was on crutches for 2 months, then I got the left side done. I worked hard through the physical therapy with the goal in mind of playing again and 6 months after the left PAO I was. There was a lot of pain in the first few months and my hip kept on getting stuck, but I worked my way through it and played the entire season. The whole time however, I was in a significant amount of pain and my hip would catch randomly. I was also horribly out of shape. I would get pain in my lower back and shooting down my legs past my knees to about mid calf.

After the season was over, I decided that I was going to go all out and get my athleticism back or die trying. I worked my butt off all summer to increase my speed and endurance. I strained my right quad at the beginning and my right hamstring near the end. I would feel twinges all the time regardless of how well I stretched and warmed up. I still had the hip pain when I would run long distance, many sprints, or play and the back pain got worse and worse. I haven’t felt the shooting pain down to my outer calf as much though.

The only issue was that my endurance didn’t improve and my legs would give out just as easily as before. My speed didn’t improve, and the pain was just about the same as it was at the end of the season. Now I’m facing another season with no improvement to show from my hard work and a lot of pain to look forward to. Has anyone dealt with some similar issues, or had any problems returning to their sport after the operation? I really need to put this behind me and continue on with my life. It kills me knowing that I put my heart and soul into something and it just didn’t help at all. Does anyone have any advice for effective exercises to get back to the level I was before? Is this normal pain? Why is my muscle endurance not improving?