I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at the age of 31, I was a semi pro footballer for many years and thought the pain i was getting was just wear and tear as i was getting a bit older. after numerous appointments with physios telling me i wasn’t stretching enough matches, i new something was more serious.

Finally i get submitted for an MRI scan and get an appointment with a specialist, it was then i got the news that i had severe hip dysplasia in both hips. shock wasn’t the word, i left the hospital in tears that day knowing i wouldn’t be able to be as active as i always was.

10 years on and i haven’t seen a doctor since, I am in pain on a daily basis but i just have to manage it as best i can. i still keep myself active doing activities that are low impact such as swimming, cycling, body weight exercises. I know one day i will eventually need my two hips replaced but i will remain positive and try and go as long as i can before opting for surgery. I just thought i would share my story because i think keeping active has definitely helped my mental health as well as my hip dysplasia.

 I try and keep a very positive attitude at all times but i am  finding its getting harder year by year.
Most people look at me and think i am very fit and healthy as they cant see whats beneath, I don,t usually tell people as most wouldn’t understand because i look well on the outside.
Thank you Lee

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  1. Phillip B says:


    I am a 34 year old in the US (West Coast, Oregon) and have bilateral dysplasia as well. I too was diagnosed late, at 32 after a full slot of sports throughout my first 30+ years. I know where you are coming from.

    I had the preservation surgery (PAO) on my right side in January, and can’t tell you how much better that side feels (I am at 6 months recovery now). It was a tough surgery and long recovery but worth it. My left side has arthritis, and does not appear to be a candidate according to my DR. So i will have to hold off until THR. But I am going to ask again, as I would do the PAO on the left in a heart beat. The 6-8 weeks of tough recovery, is just a flash in the pan based on feeling better.

    Have you looked at your options? Does PAO make sense? I recommend investigating further.

    I am currently doing lots of low impact, and recommend swim, bike, row, weight lifting etc.

    Feel free to email me anytime. Not many guys with this, and happy to bounce ideas. Pbarry1985@gmail.com

    Good luck,


  2. Lee Sutherland says:

    Hi Phillip,

    I did get offered (PAO) at the time but unfortunately I wasn’t in a position to take time off work to recover from the operation, I think I have just got used to living with the condition as best I can.
    I am going to go back to my doctor and see if he will assess me again to see how much it has deteriorated over the last 10 years.
    Its nice to hear some of the storys on here as I thought I was the only one with hip dysplasia at the time as I hadn’t even heard of it.

    Thanks Lee

  3. Bryan says:

    Hey everyone,
    It’s nice to know I am not alone. Diagnosed in 2016 with bilateral hip dysplasia, 32 y/o at that time. My right hip arthritis was bad enough that my physician thought that total hip surgery was the best option and that I would need left total hip surgery within 3 years. I don’t regret going though the right total hip surgery, didn’t realize the amount of pain I was in until after being completely recovered from surgery. I also was very active in sports; football, basketball, baseball, hiking, skiing, etc. This diagnosis was not easy to accept. When you don’t want to get on the floor to play with your children, what other choice do you have? What bothers me is why was this missed? So many of us have the same story, during the same timeframe. Was this just something that was being overlooked at our well visit checks because of the science and knowledge of the time? Anyway this is the hand that we have been given, just hoping that an ortho physician might have insight to my questions.

    Fast forward 3 years and can’t sleep at night again because of the pain in my left hip. Sick of having more in common with a 70 y/o man than a mid 30’s. With another THR on the horizon just know that your not alone.



  4. Chadene says:

    hi lee, don’t you think you should get the hip replacement surgery before the pain gets any worse. Also its really great that you are keeping a positive attitude throughout your whole situation.

  5. Lee Sutherland says:

    Hi Chadene,

    I have just been back to see my doctor and he said i should just keep doing what im doing until it gets absolutely unbearable. I really dont know what to do?

  6. Beth says:

    I was diagnosed at age 40. I too was very active. Finally at age 50 (3 months ago) I had my left hip replaced. It got to a point where I couldn’t do any physical activity. I could barely walk. When your pain gets to a point where your sleep or your daily life is interrupted,,, I think you should consider the replacement. It’s been 3 months with my new hip and I cannot believe how living pain free feels!! Good luck my friend!

  7. Carol Tham says:

    Hi Lee,
    Sorry to hear of your condition. I too have bilateral hip dysplasia and just finished the POA surgery. I am 44 and found out 3 months ago. I cannot think of living with the pain or a hip replacement since it would only last 15-20 years before a new replacement is required, which is an even riskier surgery.

    As with what Philip mentioned, I pray that your cartilage and soft bone tissues are still suitable for surgery. If thst is the case, go for the POA. The hardest probably is the first 1-2 weeks after surgery and not being able to move the leg. But as rehab starts and recovery begins, slowly your leg strengthens and the numbness/tingling goes away.

    The pain of the muscle aches from “overworked” (due to non usage and compensating for other muscles that are not strong enough yet) are definitely way more tolerable than dysplasia pain.

    Although I cannot imagine how it would be to do surgery for my other hip in 1 year’s time, I will definitely do it.

    I hope you can manage to get a job that is kind enough to allow you to work remotely for the first 8 weeks after operation.

  8. Alexandra says:

    I was just diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia, torn labrums and impingement at 30 years old. Cue the tears (again)! I was a big athlete too, so I’m super depressed knowing I cannot exercise the way I used to under the circumstances. I was told that I need the PAO surgery as well as hip arthroscopy to address the torn fragment, labrum tears and impingement. I’m not worried about the surgery per se because I know this is what I need to do to preserve my hip joint long-term. I’m more concerned about recovery time because of work obligations. I work in a school, so I’m worried about taking off that long. From your experiences, when did you start “functioning” again where you could go to work and start driving? The doctor said I could return after 4 weeks but that’s a big difference with what I’m reading (approx. 2-3 months).

  9. Tami says:

    In 2013 I was diagnosed with osteoporosis caused by the lack of hormones (those activate the bone growers) due to emergency hysterectomy when I was 32. I have the bones of a 90 year old. As if that wasn’t restrictive enough, 2 days ago I was told I have bilateral congenital hip dysplasia. I am 56 and devastated. Dr said no running, jumping, stairs. I know y’all know the spiel. I live alone, in a small 2 story house and have no real support system. THIS SUCKS.

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