I’m 41, with recent onset congenital bilateral hip dysplasia. This is what happened:

On June 30, 2010, I was a leasing agent with a property management company and we were having a busy day doing move-ins and move-outs. Around 6:00 PM I developed a severe pain in my right hip, to the point where I was limping and dragging my right leg behind me. It was a hot day; and I was wearing sandals, to which my boss and I attributed the right hip pain. I wore shoes with better support after and that seemed to be that. Everything was fine until…

In February and March 2011, I had a different job working as an office administrator. I took the bus to work and while the walk to the bus was okay, the walk from the bus into work (8 blocks) was painful and most of the time I limped. After sitting at my desk for an hour or so, the pain disappeared. It was only in the mornings, and by the end of March had stopped. Everything was fine until…

In Spring 2012, my routine gardening tasks became excruciatingly painful on my right hip/knee/leg and often I couldn’t walk afterwards. Around this time, regular walking started including a stabbing pain inside my right hip joint. There was no rhyme or reason. Some days it was every 100 steps, some days every 50, other days every 3 or 4. Always when I let my guard down and forgot about it. I made an appointment with my GP that May.

Another thing that used to happen to me is I would fall down, usually one or twice a year, and skin my knees like you do when you are a kid. Yes I was sober ;-) I always thought I had tripped, or stepped too far on the outer edge of my foot, wasn’t paying attention, etc. The last time I fell was in August 2012.

My GP was reluctant at first, because of course when I went to see her I wasn’t limping. After some x-rays that showed nothing, I kept insisting the pain was in the joint and she agreed to send me to see a orthopedic surgeon, and schedule me for an MRI in January 2013. I went for the MRI, but missed getting a fluoroscopy injection, so I needed another MRI with the injection, which took place in June 2013.

The first surgeon I saw diagnosed right hip dysplasia at the end of June 2013, and said the left hip was fine. I cried. I didn’t ask all the questions I should have, I was unhappy about living with the pain. Imagine if someone told you you were going to be stabbed in the hip joint several times today, but you have no idea when – yuck – it made physical movement unappealing. Once I turned slightly to the right, and it hurt so much I couldn’t breathe, I saw white stars popping in front of my vision. The other time that happened to me (couldn’t breathe, white stars) was when I happened to be standing next to the fire alarm in my building years ago, when it was being tested. How could anyone not be sad about this? The surgeon took my reaction very personally, and said, unprofessionally, “Well, what do you want me to do about it? Perform a surgery and make it all better?” I cried harder. But yes, I did kind of want that :-) I didn’t know how the condition is monitored over time, how is pain managed, should I take supplements like glucosamine sulfate?

In July 2013, there were two days in a row that I couldn’t put weight on my right hip/leg. Enough was enough. I went and bought a cane. And, then, with the cane, I went through a grieving process with all my friends and family that it was unfair, I was so young, reminding others of their own mortality, etc. It was more for them than me. Their sad faces were hard to see. They didn’t know how to be around me. I got treated like a frail grandma. It’s just a cane, I’m not going to die of this. The cane has greatly, greatly lessened the pain over time in my right hip. I love my cane! I can go so much faster, too! Tripping is a hazard at first, and if you are using a cane you will do everything one-handed.

In January 2014 my left hip started hurting in the same way the right one did. I knew my left hip was the same as the right, even though the surgeon had said it wasn’t. I just KNEW. I made it to work and then was sent home because I was a wreck. My co-worker wanted to take me to the hospital. My other co-worker told me I had ‘shock spots’ around my eyes. I went home and cried on and off for the rest of the day.

After asking repeatedly for 5 months for my GP to refer me to another surgeon for a second opinion (she thought the first guy was fine, but I wanted to be sure) I finally saw him a few days ago. He confirmed the bilateral hip dysplasia. He did something the first surgeon failed to do: offer me hope.

With the right support, I can put the cane in the closet for a few more years AND get around relatively pain-free. I will need a hip replacement but not for around 8 years. He gave me some pain medication I am wary of, as my partner took them and said they are hard on the body, so I want more information first. I will have a referral to the Arthritis Society in my city and I can speak to them about medication and side effects. Other ways to live with pain and support joint health the best I can. Platelet Rich Plasma was also brought up, but it tends to be something for sports injuries. And possibly the acetabulum can be rotated so the femoral ball fits better. I am very glad I got a second opinion.

This is the hand I was dealt, so it is the one I have to play. I’m still in the grieving process. I do my best to be brave. I had free and easy mobility until two years ago. My physical activities have changed. I watch my friend Paula running along the giant driftwood logs that pile up on the beach with something more than envy: I used to be able to do that! We did that together! It’s been coming my whole life; biology is destiny in this case.

I don’t have a lot of people to talk to about this, pretty much all anyone wants to hear is that it is getting better. But I don’t know that it will get better before it gets worse. Thank you for reading this, and to this forum for allowing me to share my story.

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  1. MIchelle says:

    All I can say is I understand. I am 45 and suffer too. I am not as bad as Juliet, but I have been told a hip replacement is in my future as well. It took me 2 years to go to the doctor because I knew the diagnosis wasn’t something I wanted to hear.

    • Juliet R says:

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for your comment! I hope that your journey through this goes smoothly and as pain-free as possible. Feel free to keep in touch via this post.


  2. Tania says:

    I am 21 years old, and developed hip dysplasia when i was 17.

    It is one of the hardest things as a teenage to deal with, I was into my sports at regional level, and to be told I had to stop by my surgeon pretty much broke my heart.

    I am in need of a double hip replacement, but they want to wait until I am at least 45 because I am “too young”. But I will probably be in a wheelchair by the time i am 30.

    I know your struggle, and others I’m sure, know our struggle to.

    Keep strong xx

    • Juliet R says:

      Hi Tania,

      Thank you for your comment! It reminded me of my visit with the second surgeon who was a bit relieved I wasn’t into doing sports. I feel for you, it is a greater loss for you because you lost something you were passionate about, and great at doing, as well as your mobility. I would love to tell you that you won’t be in a wheelchair at 30, but if you have to wait until 45… I think they like to put off the replacements because you’re allowed two and you won’t have mobility when you’re older. Now, not being an older person, I could be wrong, but wouldn’t it be better to have the mobility when you’re younger and visit the wheelchair at age 70-80?

      You keep strong too, and post here anytime you need to do so.

  3. karry says:

    Hello juliet, I totally understand your pain. Mine started out in my knee. I had noticed a water bubble right under my right knee so I went and saw a specialist. As soon as I walked in the door to the room he noticed the way I was walking. Before I even sat on the table he told me that it wasnt my knee. I said what is it. He said it was my hip. I said how could u tell that nye r walk. He took exray and told me I had arthritis in my hip. At that time I was 43 yrs old. So I said what is my options. He said a hip replacement. I was scared. I dealt with it for 3 yrs before I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. So at 43 yrs old I had my hip replacement done. It has been 5 yrs and I couldnt have been happier on getting it done. But about 6 months after my surgery I started having problems with the left side. So exactly a year later I had the left side done. Now I am pain free. It was the best decision I made and I couldnt be happier. I now can do things that I couldnt do and even more. I was afraid that I wasnt going to be able to run around with my granddaughter but now I can chase after her and do the things that a grandma is suppose to do.
    So if u would like to know more here is my email karbear440@yahoo.com feel to send any question u may have.

    • Juliet R says:

      Hi Karry,

      I’m so happy you were able to get the replacements done and you can run after your grandchildren :-) That is wonderful to hear! I hope my hip replacements will work out just like yours!


  4. Emily says:

    Hello Juliet,
    I completely understand your issues. I was in the military when I had sharp pains in my right hip. I had a bone scan when I was in training, and it came back negative and was sent back to training. Throughout my training it got worse and worse. And then my left hip started hurting. I finally told my chiropractor about it and he took X-rays and didn’t see anything and sent me to get an MRI. That also came back negative. I then was told about this hip specialist that was very well known in my near by city. I went to him and he literally said I don’t know what’s wrong with you. He sent me to a neurologist, since nerve damage is know to be common in the military. Everything went fine, no issues. I was so fed up with everything, I did the same as you, all I could do is cry. When my annual doctors visit came around for the military, the guy looked at me after I told him all my issues I have been having and diagnosed it as osteoarthritis. I looked at him and said how can you just look at me and diagnosis me when you haven’t looked at any X-rays or MRI reports or anything. Long story short I’m still trying to solve this mistery while in pain everyday. I’m like you if I stand too long, walk too far, run less that a half mile my hips start hurting. I feel like I can’t do anything and I’m in my early 20s. Please keeping posting about your issue if you don’t mind so maybe we can help each other and others with this horrible issue. :)

    • Juliet R says:

      Hi Emily,

      Did you get the hip dysplasia diagnosis? Osteoarthritis tends to come with hip dysplasia. From what you’ve described it sure sounds like it! I don’t run anymore and standing for more than a few hours is painful. I know what you mean about feeling like you can’t do anything :-( I take it one day at a time, because I have to do so. I never know what my pain levels will be day-to-day. Sometimes I dream that I am running and it doesn’t hurt and the cane has been a mistake, a misunderstanding; and I run like the wind! :-)

      It sounds like you and Tania (who posted above) are in the same boat, being so young and athletic. I am sorry this happened to you both. This didn’t happen to me until I was 39.

      I will keep posting here about this issue. My bone scan is at the end of the month and then I can let you know what is going to happen next.


  5. Holly says:

    Hang in there and keep asking for imaging! I was told I must have fibre myalgia, or Lupus, or depression, or a pulled groin muscle, bursitis, or, or, or…but I have bilateral hip dysplasia, and in two days, I will have a total hip replacement for my left hip. I am 48. I have advanced arthritis, bursitis, and bone spurs in both hips, and in the left, I also have a torn labrum and a cyst. I didn’t know I had hip dysplasia, and I’ve likely always had it– my symptoms started when I was a teen, but it was always attributed as something else. I’ve had shin splints, actively hurting, since age 15. All my life, after skiing, skating, dancing, waiting tables, bartending, hiking, etc, the pain from the middle of my back all the way to my feet would be waves of suffering accented occasionally (but every day) by lightning jolts to the knee, or hip, or shin…totally unpredictable as to where. Rest always helped, and I ate aspirin and ibuprofen like candy. I changed shoes half way through work shifts. It all came together when I had a brain injury and was on bed rest for four months. My IT bands shortened, making my legs hurt ALL the time. It took two years of PT and several different doctors to finally get the imaging and discover what the problem has been all my life. Don’t give up! Looking forward to the pain-free life that others have commented on! :)

    • Juliet R says:

      Hi Holly,

      I hope your surgery went well!! Please post here again as you recover and let us know what it is like from the other side with your new hip! :-) It will be awhile before my replacements, but hopefully the bone scan will show other ways to manage this in the meantime!


  6. Moptop says:

    Hi All,
    The posts make really interesting reading. I’m 42 and getting my right hip replaced in 4 weeks, then my left 8 weeks later. Both hips are dysplastic. I had issues as a teen and in my 20’s this was put down to hypermobility. At 35, mild OA stopped me from running, and only now that my hips are battered has it been picked up that I have hip dysplasia. The down side is my girls now need checking. It is good to read Karry’s post and hear it worked well. I just want to be able to walk well again, get fit again and enjoy my girls. I have a good surgeon who does these regularly so I will keep you all posted.

  7. John says:

    I am dealing with the same things. I am 32 and have done hard labor like roofing most of my life. And now it seems as if minor tasks like taking out the trash can seem excruciating. I have recently been told I have hip dysplasia. At least now I know what is wrong. And thanks to you what to expect.

  8. Renee says:

    I am 39 and have had minor pain that would come and go most of my life but in the last year my life as I knew it has seemed to exist. I am in constant pain and struggle to even walk on some days.

    I just seen an orthopedic surgeon who says I am not a candidate for a hip replacement because the joints are not diseased. He referred me to another surgeon who does the PAO surgery (where the socket is moved to cover the ball) for hip dysplasia. It will be another month before I can see this doctor and my fear is he will say I’m not a candidate too.

    I know this is a very complex surgery with a long recovery period but I’m willing to try anything to get my life back. I try to stay positive but it is hard sometimes to not feel like nobody knows what your going through or could possibly understand.

    Thanks for sharing your story and I wish you all the best of luck.

  9. debbie says:

    Hi All i am 45 and have bilateral hip dysplasia, i have just had my right hip resurfaced which is used for younger people. I am 9 weeks post op and no pain in my right hip. Just considering having the left hip done because of the pain i’m getting in it,due to see my surgeon for a check up in November and might ask if i can go a head and have it done sometime next year. I notice some of you have been told to wait for a hip replacement but i would ask your doctor if you could be considered for a hip resurfacing. I would look into it if i was you guys instead of being in pain for many years. I can’t believe how much difference it as made, just wished i’d pushed for it years ago. Look it up on the web and see what you think. Good luck to you all and don’t let anyone tell you to wait for a hip replacment when you could have hip resurfacing done instead.

  10. Michele says:

    I was diagnosed in 2011. My mother also has bilateral hip dysplasia. I’ve had to go on FMLA as housekeeping at local college full time became too demanding. I may need to find another type of employment. I’ve become very depressed and gained weight from inactivity. The pain is awful. I’m 45 and need hip replacements ! I’m overweight with moderate high blood pressure, my GP has me on medication but I’m terrified of having major surgery with my weight and blood pressure. God bless you all on this site and I say prayers to all.

  11. mary says:

    I am 33, a mother of 4 children under 6 and have congenital hip dysplasia. I wore leg braces for the first 18 months of life. I never had issues until I had my first child 6yrs ago and gained 80lbs. It’s gotten worse over time and now I am in constant pain that I treat through pain management. I have hip dysplasia,bone spurs,several cysts,no cartledge in joint and my thigh bone pushing up into the socket, and putting pressure on my pelvic bone, so it’s making my back painful too. I am having my total hip replacement in 2 no the and am scared to death. Although I can hardley walk and canes/ walkers are out of question because of the young children I have. It is my only option unless I want to keep taking narcotics…no thanks!!

  12. Alison says:

    Hi everyone. I am 37 and was diagnosed with hip dysplasia of my left hip in January 2014. My hip has popped for as far back as I can remember. I started out with pain in my left knee. I am a nurse and just attributed the pain to long shift, LOTS of walking & running my tail off. I dealt with mild knee pain for atleast 5-6 years. X-rays if my knee were negative. In March of 2013 my knee pain worsened significantly and I also began to experience lower back pain. After seeing my primary care physician I had an MRI of both my knee and my L-spine. The MRI of my L-spine was normal, but the MRI of my knee revealed cartilage loss. At this point the pain was interferring with my normal daily activities like play with my 7 year old daughter or walking our dog. I would come home from work and just lay in bed hoping just laying still would help the pain. I became depressed. My primary Doc recommended he continue to monitor my knee, injected my knee with cortisone and prescribed me pain medication, which was such a huge relief from constant pain. Unfortunatley for me I had a change in my health insurance, and my Dr.s group did not take my new insurance. This was a huge blow to me as my Doc was absolutely wonderful, caring, & compassionate. Reluctantly I decided to see a Dr. who worked for the same group of physicians offices I worked for. I was never a fan of seeing a Dr. who I worked with directly on occasion…I totally believe in keeping my health issues separate from work. Shortly after I began seeing my new Dr. the pain in my knee and back worsened. Of course my new Dr. was hesitant to prescribe me the pain medication I had been taking and even decreased the dose and frequency in which I was taking it…even though after working numerous 10 hour days with him he would see me limping and in obvious pain. In Novmber of 2013 I began to have terrible sharp pain in my left hip. I saw my new Dr. who only added amitriptyline to the pain medicine he prescribed as only twice per day as needed. This gave me no relief. The injections in my knee gave me very little relief at this point either.The hip pain only just intensified and I finally demanded a referral to see an orthopedic surgeon. In January of 2014 I saw the orthopedic surgeon who immediatly x-rayed my left hip after me telling him about my hip pain and his exam revealed reduced range of motion in my hip…and finally there it was!!! Finally a diagnosis. Finally an explanation for the cartilage loss in my knee. He ordered an MRI which ruled out a labral tear. He recommended a diagnostic arthroscopy if my symptoms worsened. So…hear I am almost a year later and I moved back to my home town in late October and am now going through a divorce. Of course I had to try to find a new primary Dr. I have had no luck at all. I have not taken anything for pain since just after I moved in October and every single is torture. I saw one Dr. who told me to take tylenol 3 times per day. I honestly think some Dr.s do not quite understand just how painful living with a hip dysplasia can be. As a nurse I have seen how little compassion some Drs have and yes I feel like even I have been stereotyped as a “drug seeker” simply because of the pain meds I had been prescribed. I have not attempted to go back to work since moving. I know I could not handle the pain after being up on my feet all day without something for pain. I can barely handle the pain now that I’m not very active at all. Not working has also changed so much…I don’t have the financial independence I used to benefit from in my career as a nurse. For the last two days straight I have had the worst hip, back, knee and groin pain I have ever had. I finally gave in and went to the ER last night…the pain was so intense my blood pressure was 180/116. Thats was finally the moment I decided enough is enough!!! I didn’t leave the ER without a referral to see an orthopedic surgeon at the University Of Kansas Medical Center who specializes in the treatment of disorders of the hip. This appointment can’t get here soon enough. Treatment can’t happen soon enough and I can not wait until the day comes I can reclaim my life from living with chronic pain. All of your stories have given me so much hope and its wonderful to know that I am not alone in this. God blessand thankyou!!!!

  13. Josh says:

    I totally onow where your coming from. I have had the same problem in my right hip. Its fine somedays and I can run and jump on it and than other days just taking a step forward produces a out of nowhere excruciating sharp pain that for a split second causes my entire leg to collapse. The pain feels like a screw driver being stabbed into your hip socket. Sometimes it lasts for hours putting weight on ot causes a sharp pain and leaves you limping. And than boom it is a fine working leg and hip again for hours, days, or sometimes a week. And yes I do also get alot of knee issues in the same leg that come and go and feel like the rear side tendons are ripped in half than like the hip the excruciating pain just vanishes when I wake up. It is a nightmare that hides and waits.

  14. Aimee says:

    I understand how hard it is to watch your friends do the things you wish and so very badly want to do..at 38 I was diagnosed with a rare hip disease synovial ostochomdomas, it leaves with stabbing sharp pain in my hip and inner thigh shoot the whole leg almost, my doc says I’ll need a new hip in 8 years well I should say he will let me have one in 8 years….I have a 7 year old daughter and I would do anthing to beable to run with her or do a 5k with all my friends…..im not happy to here your in pain and I hope something can help .but know your not alone Im in the same boat and guess what its ok every once in awhile to have are pity parties ive had them and probably will have more!! To bad we couldnt have more of a support group for these type of issues definitely ones they plague us at and early age and when we speak of them people look at me as if I am and old lady and Damit im not!!! I miss dancing too..by no means was I good .lol sista I can feel your pain!

  15. Louise says:

    Wow! I have had similar symptoms for years. Sudden, shooting pain in my hip when I rotate or step in a particular position. This can be embarrassing when you are out shopping or something. Letting out a sudden high pitched gasp like I’ve been shot or something! I have been running my whole adult life, I’m 48, and while training for a marathon in 2000, the pain in my groin was so bad I could hardly walk. This is the only time I went to the doctor. He thought I had a stress fracture and I had a bone scan. That was clear so I took the anti-inflammatory drugs and carried on running! Sometimes I am running along and I will take a step and my leg just gives way along with a shooting pain. It’s just out of the blue and gives me such a fright. It’s happened in both hips. The good thing is, it doesn’t really hurt to run on. Walking aggravates it a lot more. One of my hips is very bad at the moment which Is why I was looking on this website, trying to guess what it might be. I think I’ll carry on running and live in ignorant bliss :-)

  16. Gail says:

    I have had low back and glute pain for several years, and when it got to the point that I always limp and could no longer walk 1/4 mile, I decided to find out what was going on. The orthopedic surgeon I saw took an x-ray and told me I have congenital bilateral dysplasia and osteoarthritis. All he wanted to do was talk about resurfacing. I was in such shock at the diagnosis I walked out of there and didn’t go back for a year. During that year, I self-referred to PT for the pain – they determined I had two herniated discs and treated me for four months. Pain was better, so I went back to the surgeon to talk about what my next steps should be. I asked him if my disc problems had anything to do with the arthritis in my hip and he said no. I have now found a different surgeon who said of course your back is messed up because of your gait resulting from the hip issues. I now do 30 minutes on the stationary bike daily and do the weight machines to strengthen my adductor and abductor muscles so my recovery after surgery will be faster. I don’t think doctors understand the grieving process that a younger patient (under 55) goes through when faced with this diagnosis. It’s not just the inability to sleep at night nor the constant pain throughout the day – it is accepting that I will never run a marathon with my daughter (I was a distance runner my whole life). Also, depending on how the socket and femoral head are shaped, resurfacing isn’t always successful for dysplasia patients, so be open to discussing it with your surgeon.

  17. Jo says:

    I’m 34 woman from Lithuania. I have a terrible pain in my right hip and it’s getting worse every day. Ï can’t sleep well. Pain causes not only physical problems but psychological as well. I agree with Gail that doctors don’t understand that we have to suffer (pain, anxiety, helplessness and etc.) for fact that we are under 50. I know I’ll have to endure it because I have two kids who need me. I believe that “when God closes a door He opens a window”.

  18. Kristy says:

    I am now 53. The first time I saw a doctor for my hip pain was when I was a sophomore in high school. For the next 20+ years I spent 10’s of thousands of dollars trying to find a diagnosis for my pain and my sudden falls. All of the doctors I went to said there was nothing wrong with my hips, basically it was all in my head. So, when I finally found an orthopedic surgeon who not only believed me but actually diagnosed me with hip dysplasia, I nearly cried with relief. I was 41 years young and too young for a hip replacement. I was sent to Salt Lake City to an expert in hip dysplasia, he performed a pelvic osteotomy. The recovery was painful but it is the best thing I have EVER done for myself.

  19. debbie bishop says:

    I have dysplasia of the hips I have waited six months for the pain clinic I had injections in both hips the right hip instillmhave alot of pain when I walk it is extremely painfull I saw a doctor for a hipreplacement he would not do this,I feel very downnmy husband said I am so slow with my walking I have crutches aids,I think I need a mre scan he will not do this so I will have to put up with it I am on morphine I feel so frusated with this

  20. Tarnya McInnes says:

    I found this page by chance while looking up a medication I was put on by my osteosurgen, I see 2 specialists as I’m a child from the 80’s and here in Australia between January to August the kids of 83 never got checked or tested, I’ve had hip pain in both hips since I was a child, just riding my bike was a issue, swimming killed me, and as funny as this sounds I was a professional water skier lol even with al the pain and having to lay in the water floating till the pain passed before I could put my skis back on it was seriously bad and hurt doing this I would spend 20 mins in tears floating to put a single ski on :( I never really complained or said anything as I didn’t want to be treated funny or called a liar but I was only 4-14 when I did this……sooo I’m now 32 and what forced me to stop was I ended up in hospital for major hip surgery at 15 years old I couldn’t walk my hip had dislocated and caused a fluid build up in my hip joint, so had major hip surgery and a drain for 4 weeks in hospital owe god did it hurt…. From there I’ve had nothing but pain since, I now see 2 specialists and I’m in line for READY WAIT FOR IT !!! DOUBLE HIP REPLACEMENT AND DOUBLE KNEE REPLACEMENT……. And I’m only 32 my hips being stuffed all my life has now damaged my knees so I struggle to walk this last 12 months I can bearly move and cry just to walk up and down the stairs to go to the toilet :( I have a 2 year old daughter who is fine thank god her hips are perfect and only diagnosed in the last 6 months…. I’m now on endep which is a pain relieve in the form of a antidepressant (no not depressed it’s used for pain) and on a very very high dose of OxyContin just so I can walk up and down my stairs and get up to my child I’m hoping and preying that this surgery will fix this pain but no promises and I don’t know when before I can start having the surgery 6 months? 1 year? Or when I’m 65?

  21. Clara Miller says:

    My name is Clara I am a 33yr old wife and mother of 4 I was limping in 6th grade found out it was bilateral hip dysplasia had pins put in within a month and was told they would be taken out after 1yr they were not because the bone grew over the screws.I am 33 and now started having pain about 6months ago and is now EXCRUCIATING I am in pain constantly my right hip has almost No range of motion and it gets so bad it runs past my knees to my shins I am so afraid of a hip replacement.Im only 33 and afraid to be stuck in a wheelchair.

  22. Jacque says:

    I am 60 and female . Went over a year with the wrong diagnosis on severe knee pain and physician refusing do do a MRI. After lateral and medial meniscus surgery,I began having severe, unbearable pain in my left groin which was contributed to the knee surgery. Finally, after many trips to ER for the pain over 6 weeks, I saw a hip specialist who did a front X-ray(unlike the others done)and immediately said I had bilateral hip dysplasia with 70% loss. Put on oral steriods for now. I go back in 4 weeks; I am concerned at my age how much I will have to modify my life going forward. I am pretty active and this is really scary. I am really fortunate that my pain didn’t start until later in life but I don’t like what I am facing in the future.

  23. Bex says:

    When I was 16 I went to the doctors with constant pain and clicking in the hipand nmy gp refused to send me to hospital as she thought it was growing pains. After lots of appointments and begging, she eventually referred me to the hospital who did an x-ray and an Mri which confirmed my hip dysplasia I’m both hips. I am nearly 18 now, and I have been told that by the time I am 30 I will need to have at least one of my hips replaced, possibly both of them (one hips worse than the other). I will also have arthritis at an early age. Currently,, I am having physiotherapy at two different places, and I have a hospital appointment in 2 days to discuss whether we will go down the operation route which is very likely. People don’t understand how much pain I am in with this, and they just thinkiI’mllazy, but it’s because I really struggle to walk with it the pain is unbearable.

  24. Maggie says:

    Hey Everyone,
    I am 62 years old and have always had some sort of tightness in my right hip which started getting more and more painful as I aged. Chiropractic appts. kept me going for over 30 years but I did not know there was actually something fried in my hip because no one x-rayed it, only my back which does have a disc with slippage. I suspect I have had this condition since childhood because of symptoms I remember.
    Only yesterday for the first time was my hip x-rayed and I found out why I have had so much pain. I can barely walk now because of my right hip.
    Everyone please read, “Pain Free” by Pete Esgoscue. I cannot say if this is the answer but it certainly gives me hope. IF you are younger than me perhaps it will help you.
    Wishing everyone the best on their journey for a pain free life,

  25. Lou says:

    Hello everyone. I am also in the same boat as most of you. I am soon to be 51, and was diagnosed with congenital bilateral hip dysplasia 2 and half years ago. As I reflect on the past, I know my symptoms, though very mild at the time, probably began nearly 30 years ago. I was, and like to think I still am, quite athletic so I never thought the pain was due to something abnormal with my body. I essentially had no limitations. I’m fortunate in that my physical therapist says I have quite remarkable range of motion considering my joints appear to be “beaten up” based on X-rays I’ve shown her. I’m trying to be optimistic that my pain can be controlled with therapy, and proper strength conditioning. I’m an analytical person by nature, so I’ve investigated this condition quite extensively at this point. I also work in the health care industry, and have witnessed many orthopedic surgeries (among others). Without a doubt, I can say if you need surgery, pick your surgeon very carefully because their level of expertise, and skill is extremely important to your surgical success. I’ve seen some terrible surgeons, that puts the fear of God in me. Be your own best advocate for your care, and don’t let any physician push you in a direction you feel uncomfortable with, regardless of your reasons. I also feel, learn as much about your condition, and your options (pros and cons) as much as you feel necessary to answer questions, and ease any anxieties. To digress, some surgeons are only in the business of cutting up bodies. That’s all they know. They act smug, and contemptuous to the patient who wants to take control of there own care, and seek the less radical alternatives (as they see it) first. I know that seems odd that some physicians wouldn’t think that way, but the bad ones are out there. Get advice from people you truly trust. I wish you all wellness, and I hope your futures are filled with happiness free from pain.

  26. Holly says:

    Hello, this is an update that’s long overdue. I am five weeks out from my second total hip replacement. I posted in May of 2014, right before my first THR. I am so happy that at age 50 I have less pain than I did from 17-49!
    Actually, I have NO PAIN other than tissue healing. My left hip that was done in 2014 is so strong and flexible. I am a new woman!
    It turns out that my father, his father, and my son all have bilateral hip dysphasia. My father resisted any imaging or help until age 78 ( after my first surgery), and then learned that both of his hips were completely dislocated. He had lost almost all mobility for ten years, the stubborn fool. In Jan. he had his right hip replaced, and in Sept. he will have the left. He is so happy and rejuvenated! He said, only six weeks after surgery, “if my other hip weren’t still bad, I could RUN!”
    Modern technology has made it possible for us to not be crippled with pain. Don’t wait–get PT, look into resurfacing (only available early in the process), and eventually, THR.
    PT made it possible for me to put off surgery for a few years.
    Good luck!

  27. Gwynaeth says:

    I am 41 and have been battling with hip pain for at least 15 years. A couple of weeks ago I was in London emptying my property that I’ve sold and was in agony, unable to walk and living on painkillers and anti-inflammatories. This really felt like the last straw and so I made an appointment to see an orthopedic surgeon (a “rock star” and apparently one of the best in my country.)

    The xrays confirm that I have bilateral dysplasia and only 15 degrees of hip socket, which has caused severe osteoporosis in the small amount of socket that I have. He told me that I could delay it for maybe 18 months but after that time I would be in considerable pain and would “have to do something”.

    At my request, he has booked me in for a double hip replacement in 6 weeks time (I just want to get it all over with and will have the physical support needed over the December/ January holidays.)

    Any advice for me for recovery and/ or expectations?

    I feel very heart-sore for everyone who is my age who is being refused treatment. I mean, who is to say that any of us will make 10 years time to their “ideal age for replacement”. And it makes NO sense to deprive people from having a useful, normal life while they are young.

    I am in South Africa and have private medical insurance and “Gap cover” so this is not public health care. Perhaps that is the difference?

  28. Lorraine says:

    Hello I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my right hip and I feel like a prisoner in my own body. I purchashed a cane and it is my best friend right now. I feel your pain. God bless you and thanks for sharing.

  29. Sheila says:

    I was born with left hip displaysia and it caused my left leg to be 1 1/2 shorter than my right leg. I had numerous surgeries at Shriners when I was a child. I basically was born without a ball and socket. After surgery #2 I set up staph infection from the operating room. I had 3 surgeries in one week to keep infection cleaned out. Almost had to amputate the leg at the hip. As I have gotten older the arthritis and bone spurs have set in and I’ve been told my numerous surgeons “Your Hip Looks Like Shit”. Excuse the language but this is what they’ve said.
    I recently got up the nerve to go see a well known and respected specialist who said since I had staph years ago it could be laying dormant and could appear when he opens the leg up. My back is in horrible condition and also is needing surgery because of walking with the limp my entire life.
    I don’t know what to do! I’m in so much pain these days. I can hardly walk and apparently there is nothing that can be done. My doctor says because I have a chronic condition pain meds and muscle relaxers are my only option. Sometimes I wish the leg would’ve been amputated when I was younger because I wouldn’t Have to live with the pain I do now.

  30. Suzy says:

    What a blessing to have found this page. I am 69 and really had no major problems with my hips until I suffered a bad fall on cement about 3 years ago which left me with a labral tearin my right hip, but no pain in my left hip. I retired last year from a desk job which is probably the reason I was relatively pain free but about 3 months ago I started having excrutiating pain in my left hip which just kept getting worse by the minute. I couldn’t believe the level of pain. I could hardly walk and it just kept getting worse. I had had sciatica and had some bad discs in my back plus arthritis, but had never experienced this level of pain. So I went to the orthopedic surgeon who did some MRIs and told me that my hip is collapsing and I need a total hip replacement ASAP. Had a second opinion with the same diagnosis. So here I am, waiting for my surgery. What I love about these posts is those of you who have had the surgery and are saying that you are now pain free! I can’t imagine being pain free. What a gift that will be! The most shocking thing for me is how quickly this went from no pain to the most excrutiating pain I have ever experienced. I guess in a way I’m lucky that it happened to me when I’m older and I don’t have to wait years for my surgery. I will update when I come back after having my hip replaced. Thanks to all of you for giving me so much hope..

  31. Jean Bagnall says:

    In 2017 I had a hip replacement after about 8 weeks I had my first dislocation followed by three more. Every time I had the dislocation all they did was put back in and sent me home
    Mot once did I see the Surgeon. Eventually he my appointment arrived and was told I was having another operation a d thisctimme will be ok. Surgeons words. But mo my hop.is painful on pain killers. Since all this a few weeks I had a heart attack it appears it was the stress of tbe hip. Today is a year since my second and still limping and still have the pain. Recently I find my keg seems dead do have to.keep working on it. Physio has stopped from hospital and am not due to see the Surgeon until next year. If course my hesrt has taken.oriority now. I am 78 but was full of life which has been taken away from me now. No one wants to know. My next move now is demand another x ray.

  32. Beth says:

    Louise, you could’ve written your post for me! I’m exactly in the same boat as you–down to your description of even being able to run pain free but walking can be torture. Wondering if you’ve figured out the source of your pain. I know I have some hip dysplasia, causing my arthritis, but because of the location of the shooting pain I too experience I wondered if it was a hip flexor issue… Im sure its all connected but just dont know what to do…

  33. Grace says:

    Juliet, I think I have this too…
    I’m only 21 and I’m experiencing intense pain in my left hip when I walk too much and try to walk, get up, or use the stairs. Yet, it comes and goes and I really can’t predict when it’ll happen again. When it does actively hurt, pain actually radiates from the left hip only. Then, when I walk, it feels like it’s dislocating than going back in, when I put my left foot down.
    It only started late last year and I’m honestly not sure why. I do walk a lot…
    Reading your story is very helpful, though.
    I will be getting an x-ray soon, so I am going off naproxen for a while so it can be more successful and because it is bad for the liver long term. However, I was taking it every 4hrs for a good few day and it’s helped block the excruciating pain.
    The night it first started, it was so bad and I was crying because every step hurt, on my way home.

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