I am a 37 year old female that was diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia at 2 days old. I was coasted at 2 weeks old for 6 months. My mom said my feet grew out the end of my cast. I was then in a brace for another six months. I learned to walk around a year and a half and my parents were told all would be fine…

My mom began to notice strange things about me. I always wore out the toe of my left shoe before the heal. My pants were always too long on the left side. And then she saw me from the back that my rear end was uneven. The pediatrician told her she was crazy! My parents finally found an orthopedic surgeon in Chicago. They took me and he knew right away there was a big problem. I had a four inch difference in the length of my femurs! I had suffered an a vascular necrosis of the femoral head.

I had two double upper femoral osteotomies, removal of plates and screws, exploratory hip arthroscopy, and eventually removal of my right femoral growth plate hoping my femurs would be even. I wound up with a 1inch difference and the dr said that was as good as it was gonna get. I was told no running, no jumping, no sports for the rest of my life. I was also told that I would have aches and pains but that was part of the territory.

I went on to live a relatively normal life. I became a pediatric ICU nurse, got married, had three kids. I always knew when it was gonna rain or snow. I was my families personal weather barometer… About six months ago the pain in my left hip got really bad. I could barely walk. No pain meds worked. On a good day it was like a tooth ache and on bad days it was like a raging fire in my hip. I lost range of motion. My kids had to help me with my shoes.

I finally went to a surgeon and after a lot of X-rays, an MRI, and a failed cortisone injection on April 9,2014 I had a total hip replacement with a cone implant. My hip was so abnormally shaped and distorted the surgery took 4 hours instead of one and a half. They lengthened my leg and so for the first time in my life my legs are even and my feet touch the floor at the same time when I sit. When I woke up in recovery I had NO pain in my hip!

I am in for a long recovery… Being off balance my whole life everything on my left side needs to be straightened and realigned. I know this implant won’t last forever, but I’m so excited to see where the new hip takes me.

Thank you for taking time to read my story!

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  1. Suzie says:

    My daughter is 14 having a similar history, so much pain, she is having a total hip replacement also. Thank you for sharing your story, we are always encouraged by stories with a ‘can do’ attitude! With her aspirations to be a nurse someday also, we look forward to your recovery update!
    Thanks so much! Suzie

  2. Angela says:

    Suzie, I feel for your daughter and you. I am confident she will feel better after the hip replacement. Thank you for your sweet words. I am almost 4 weeks post ip and walking with a cane. Thetapy is tough but I know it is worth it. I will pray for your daughter. Tell her to follow her dreams of becoming a nurse! That was one if the best decisions I ever made.

  3. Lisa says:

    I was born with this but it wasn’t picked up until I was in my early 20’s I had a big opp and I’ve had all different pain relief and I live in a lot of pain all the time I struggle to sleep with the pain. I do have days where it’s a lot worse and I struggle to walk which isn’t good when I have 2 young boys. I’m now 30 and nobody will do anything to help me. I get told the same things all the time I’m too young to have it replaced and they can’t do anything more for me. And it’s at a point where I’ve had enough I’ve been in pain everyday for most of my 20’s and it does get depressing but u have to make the most of things. There is always someone worse off but I do have days where I just don’t think I can take it any more.

  4. Angela says:

    I don’t think you should give up! Keep searching for a doctor that will help you. No one should have to live in pain. I was told that too but by the grace of God I found a doctor that was willing to do my replacement. What state do you live in? Maybe I could help you find a doctor.

  5. sonia says:

    Hi all
    I’m 36years old and last August I had gang osteotomy on my right hip as I was in agony I had hip dysplasia that was obviously missed wen I was a child.since my operation unfortunately I have been worse I’m very restricted in movements wit my leg and still have to use a walking surgeon kept telling me he was happy my bone was healing well even tho I kept telling them i was worse,they called in a specialist tht done osteotomy’s in America who has told me my hip was over rotated and there’s already a tear in it I’m do annoyed I now am waiting to be called for a full hip replacement which could be 6-9mths..has anybody else heard of over rotation been a risk?? Thank you in advance

  6. Sarah says:

    Hi, your story sounds so similar to mine. I am 36 yrs old and I had my left hip replaced 9 years ago. It was incredible to finally live pain-free. And funny enough as soon as I recovered, I went to nursing school and became a nurse! Keep up the exercises and the therapy. Best of luck!

  7. Mary says:

    I did not have pain from my congenital hip dysplasia which was treated when I was a baby, until my 3rd pregnancy. Was too scared to have hip replaced with new baby’s needs. Waited 8 years. Now hip is replaced and pain is in the past. Message to Lisa above – you are not too young to have the hip replaced. If its hard to walk, its time to get it replaced. I am so much better after mine. I wasn’t before the surgery able to walk to the soccer field. Now, its no problem. Doctor says implant may last 30 years.

  8. Norma Myers says:

    I was born in 1944 with both hips dislocated.I had no problem learning to walk, and I was maybe 3 when my parents knew something wasn’t right. The doctors said there was nothing could be done to help me. I hated my life growing up. I limped, had wide hips, was laughed at and made fun of. All my life I wished, I hadn’t been born. I just wanted to be normal like other children. In 1995, I had unbearable pain in left hip which was worse than the right. I had 3 attacks of this pain. I had to quit work. I was 51 years old. I went out of state to a group of doctors which are amazing. They had done total hip replacements on people with this condition before. They were going to do both hips at the same time, but I bled out, and they could only do the left side. I was so filled with inflamation. The doctor told my daughter I would have died if they had done both hips. 3 months later, I had the right hip done. A couple of years later, the left hip had to be replaced again. The implant failed the day before I was due to leave the hospital, and I had to go right back in surgery. Soon after, the right hip had to be redone. Then the left one. Then the right one again. The implant failed, and had to be done again. I have had a total of 7 hip replacements and need another one. in the right hip. The last one in the left has grown into the bone like it was supposed to and stablized. We are waiting till I can no longer stand the pain to do the next one. I don’t have any bone for the doctor to work with. In the past they were able to get bone from the bone bank which helped. The doctor said he can only work on my hips one more time, then he will have to amputate my legs at the hip. The last procedure he will do will be a hip and knee replacement connected by a long rod. As if this is not enough, I have many other health problems and more major surgeries than I can count on feet and hands. The doctor said I had more health issues than any ten people he could name.He also said that I was their biggest challenge for hip replacemnts. I have been on crutches and now a walker since 1995. My last health ordeal was in 2011. I had cancer, with agressive, abnormal cellls. I had a hysterectomy, and abdominal stomach wrap and started chemo in a 4 week period. You just wouldn’t believe all the other things I have had to deal with. Nothing is going to improve for me health wise. It will anly get worse as I may have to have my legs amputated and the cancer can come back any time, anywhere. I’m not looking for sympathy, I was hoping to find others to talk with about the hips.

  9. Angela says:

    I’m so sorry for all that you have been through. Most people don’t understand how devastating hip Dysplasia can be. I will pray for your healing and peace. I hope you can get some answers so you can live a quality life!

  10. laina leech says:

    Wow, I’m walking in your shoes. Before your surgery I was in unbelievable pain. I’m a CNA at an assisted living facility killing myself with all the walking. I was in a body cast for the first 4 years of my life. At 20 I began feeling it sink in. My right hip is good but my left is not.
    I really enjoy following your progress, great to see that there is help out there.
    Thank you, Laina Leech Marion IN

  11. Esmeralda says:

    Thank for share you story I am 37 year female. I am so scare waiting for my results hope to have the same positive attitude that you have.

  12. Martha says:

    56 – undiagnosed hip Dysplasia – actually *MISdiagnosed as “soft-tissue damage” for far too long. I lost all mobility, had HORRIBLE pain and finally made my way to a new Dr. and surgeon. They looked at my x-rays and at me and said,”How are you even able to move upright?!? And you’re only taking ibuprofen??” – spent 6 months with a walker, two total replacements (anterior approach) three 1/2 months apart September and December 2013 (3 1/2 hours and 5 hours) – learned to walk again – and I TOTALLY have my life back!! I am so happy – I’m an actress, and that was looking very very grim for a while. I’m in one play, am doing props for another , then acting in a musical and two more after that – all before the end of July (AND I have a desk job by day)> :) It is AMAZING to be free again.
    People are SHOCKED when they see me again for the first time since the surgeries. :) I have more respect for my surgeon, all the wonderful nurses and physical therapists who cared for me than I can even express.
    Glad to see you’re up and at ’em!

  13. julia says:


    I was born with bilateral hip dysplasia. It was “fixed”according to the doc (i had to wear braces on my legs for 2 years).

    I was just wondering where you live and the name of your ortho.

    20 years off pain is enough!!!


    Maybe you could email me the docs name?

  14. Cillia says:

    I’m 46 years old and have been suffering with pain from bilateral hip dysplasia since 22 years old. I have gone to a number of doctors for help. I’ve been told my hips are inoperable I do not have hip sockets and I have DJD along with that my bones did not develop as they should for an adult. The road has been a hard one and as I read everyone’s story my heart and prayers go out to you all. This is the first time I have ever been able to connect with others on my condition and know they really understand the struggle. Thank you all again for sharing, it helps me to hold on to hope….one day no more pain…


  15. Tricia says:

    So I am 36 and have had hip problems since adolescence. When I was 20 I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and told to exercise and take nsaids until I need a replacement someday. I have struggled with pain for many years. My most recent MRI shows a tear and mild arthritis. I am having trouble finding an orthopedic surgeon to go to for a consult. Any advice on finding a Dr. who is educated in hip preservation as well as replacement? I want to find someone who I can make a plan with and know what all the time lines and recommendations are. When I call for a referral I am ignored and then just given a name. The last time I called I was given the name of a foot specialist. I am super frustrated and don’t want to waste money trying out surgeons until I get one that specializes in all that is hip dysplasia. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Best, Tricia

  16. Angela baisler says:

    I’m sorry you are having these issue! I can tell you when I started looking for a surgeon I did a lot of Internet research. The group I chose had both orthopedic specialists (non-surgeon) and orthopedic surgeons. They work with some of the big sports teams in the Chicago area. While meeting with the specialist we exhausted all other possible treatment options before deciding on a hip replacement. I was given the option of keeping my original hip but they weren’t very optimistic that it would work and if it did that it would last. I hope this helps and you find the perfect Doctor! Blessings to you,

  17. Danielle M says:

    I am 37 years old and have apparently had Hip Dysplasia all my life but really only started experiencing pain about 5 years ago after my daughter was born. It has progressively become worse and now I’m at the point where the only cure all is to have the total hip replacement surgery. I am really nervous about it and trying to decide whether I should try to hold off longer and deal with the pain or have the surgery done and risk needing a second replacement in my 60’s. Any advice? Thank you all, glad to know I’m not alone in this!

  18. Martha says:

    Hay I’m Martha I am 14 years old and I have hip dysplasia. I was diagnosed as a baby and it has been bad all my life bud especially the last five years I was wondering if anyone has had a hip reconstruction and is willing to give me any advice thanks Martha

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