It’s been quite the journey mentally, physically and emotionally the past 10 years. I am a 31 year old female and was a competitive gymnast and college cheerleader. I have battled hip pain since 2010 thinking I kept having a groin strain from tumbling. In 2017 it started to get more frequent, more intense and the pain started to travel. My hip would give out for no rhyme or reason just simply walking in the grocery store. From deep aching pain on the sides of my hips, to subtle “jolts” in the groin from turning my leg the wrong direction. Once long walks started to be out of the question, I knew I had to do something about it. Believe it or not, running on my hips was much easier than walking but I hated to run (that’s dysplasia for ya! )

I am a chiropractor and my job is to help people manage their pain conservatively, ultimately finding the root cause of the pain. Living with this hip pain began to get incredibly tiring so I knew after trying every conservative therapy out there, something wasn’t right. No sleep at night turned into long naps during the day and weight gain from lack of mobility. Laying flat on the heating pad was the only relief I would get.

I never really vocalized how bad it was to anyone until I couldn’t take it anymore. I saw 5 local orthopedic surgeons, all of which said “your hips just don’t look right” after multiple series of x-rays and MRIs.
As a physician myself, it’s not really what you want to hear. The last doc recommended I head into NYC to see a hip preservation specialist. I thought all along I just had a torn labrum and needed to be repaired via an arthroscopy.

Once in NYC, they did more and more imaging to get a proper diagnosis. When they said “you have bilateral hip dysplasia”, all I could think about was dogs and immediate sadness. They explained how my socket was shallow and not covering my femoral head and the only way to fix it was to reposition the pelvis. After doing more research when I got home about the PAO surgery, I was terrified. I had my right hip done in October 2018 and I’m starting to really get my life back! I still have some bad days and deep aches out of no where but my leg is getting so much stronger! My right hip no longer gives out and I don’t have to walk like a waddling duck anymore! I am getting a left hip arthroscopy in 2 weeks to try to stay conservative but knowing there is a chance it fails without repositioning the socket again. Just the thought of losing my independence and being on crutches again is terrifying.

When you’re faced with a diagnosis like this, no one really understands unless you live it. If you’re reading this because you struggle badly like I used to, there is help out there. (Both physical and emotional help) I encourage you to join our Facebook groups and reach out to family and friends for support!

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  1. Marie Peterson says:

    goodness Kimberly, you are the prettiest thing and your story resonates as you have the credentials to speak volumes. speedy recovery so you are all pain free …Brutus and Nala need you..Jeremy too I guess …wink wink

  2. Lindsey Paulhamus says:

    I’m going through exactly what you did Kimberly. I’m currently in the hospital from my PAO surgery in NYC. I’d love to connect with you and chat. I’m on Facebook as Lindsey Paulhamus.

  3. Julianne Vela says:

    Wow! Reading your story I felt like I was reliving my life. I just turned 30 two weeks ago and was a competitive Martial Artist for 15 years. I’ve struggled with hip pain for a long as I can remember. At least since my early teens but I always chalked it up to overworking it in martial arts.

    Fast forward 10 years and now I can’t even walk half a mile without being in excruciating pain and not able to really walk much at all for the next few days. The pain is constant now for me. I have to continuously shift positions when sitting/ laying or have to stand up every hour or more because otherwise it’s too painful and my hips get so stiff that it’s hard to walk.

    I haven’t been diagnosed yet with hip dysplasia but if I don’t have it, I’d be utterly shocked. With Covid, I can only see my doctor virtually right now and that’s even if I can get scheduled (she’s impossible to see) so I’m just dealing with it as I’ve done for the past decade or so. I am worried about the worsening pain, though, because I’m terrified of having to get a total hip replacement.

    Hopefully I can get some answers and help soon. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you healed up well!

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