I was diagnosed with Congenital Hip Dysplasia around 1 year of age in 1982. A friend of our family had noticed a difference in the length of my legs. I never really crawled. I am told that I pretty much skipped crawling (other than scooting). I was always told that this was a hereditary condition. My Aunt was diagnosed and always walked with a limp. She went on to have 4 children. 2 of her children also had this condition.
At the age of 1, I was put into what they called “traction”. They tried to reset my leg with some type of hanging device. There was a waiting period to see if that would correct the issue. That did not work. At the age of 4 I had another surgery where they tried to correct it by operating on my femur bone. I have a scar about 10 inches down the side of my leg from it. After that surgery was complete, I was put in a body case for about 6 weeks. I proceeded to go through physical therapy and learn to walk again. During my post-operational exams, my doctor concluded that the surgery did not work. They tried the same surgery again when I was 6 years old. I went through the same recovery process. I had another body cast for 6 weeks along with physical therapy. During my post-operational exams, my doctor concluded again that the surgery did not work.
At the age of 8 years old, my doctor performed a pelvic osteotomy on my hip. Again, I was in another body cast for 6 weeks. Post-surgery it was back to physical therapy and learning to walk again. (It left an additional scar about 10 inches long down the side of my body.) However; this time, during my post-operational exams, my doctor saw a stable improvement in my hip.
I am now 33 years old. I live a very normal and active lifestyle. That is the key element to this issue. You must stay active and keep that hip mobile. I do a lot of mobility exercises. I know my limitations. Running and jogging aren’t really good for me. However; I am a member of a Crossfit gym. If anyone understands Crossfit they know that it is a pretty intense work out. I modify my workouts to support/protect my hip. Keeping one’s weight down is also a key to this as well. As a 33 year old woman, I have to watch my weight. I can feel my hip mobility decrease when I put on added weight. It aches more frequently if I am not active. I’m trying to keep myself in the best shape possible because I want to try to avoid a hip replacement for as long as I can. Maybe I’ll never have to have one if I keep my hip healthy and mobile.
I have a lot of experience and information regarding my case. This is a long drawn out experience summarized. I have a ton of pictures of being in a body cast. I would love to share any information that could be helpful to someone else. This was difficult on my parents when I was a child. I can’t imagine what some of these parents are going through. There isn’t a lot of data out there that I’ve found on post-surgery osteotomy results. I want to learn more about what (if anything) I can do to prevent myself from having a total hip replacement. It still feels like a “wait and see” game at times. If I can be of any assistance to anyone, please feel free to email me or comment on this story.