I am a student physiotherapist in the UK, and I have bilateral hip dysplasia and have had recent surgeries. My left hip was diagnosed and treated as a newborn and ‘re-diagnosed’ at age 26 after some years of experiencing symptoms in my hip. It took a number of years after that and a lot of to-ing and fro-ing for me to find someone experienced enough to then correctly diagnose my right hip also (at age 31) and be able to treat them both. My journey involved many health professionals and sadly much conflicting information, I got the impression that there is not very much awareness or understanding of adult hip dysplasia amongst health professionals.
I had been treated as a newborn for a ‘clicky hip’ and my mum had been told that it was then resolved, so when I started experiencing symptoms in my early 20s I didn’t put 2 and 2 together. When I was eventually diagnosed I didn’t even know that this was called hip dysplasia! I thought nothing of it to begin with because my symptoms were so mild at first, I only felt pain when I was doing sport, so I just stopped doing sport for a while. I found it very difficult to find a consultant who could explain what was going on with my hips and offer me surgery to treat it.
I’ve now had pelvic osteotomies on both hips and I am in the later stages of recovery. It has been an emotional rollercoaster going through these big surgeries and doing the rehab for such a long time, but I believe it has been worth it. I’m glad I was able to have the surgeries so that I can delay having a hip replacement until later in life. I am able to walk more and more now.
My experiences doing so much rehab gave me the idea to change career into physiotherapy, and although I had to take time off for surgeries part way through, I am now in my final year and will soon be a qualified physiotherapist! I really hope to use my experiences as a patient to influence healthcare and raise awareness of this condition in adults.