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!