Patient Stories


Rose Schmidgall is a remarkable young woman; she is a small business owner, a talented writer, photographer and a passionate advocate for hip dysplasia awareness.

In 2014 Rose’s hip dysplasia journey began like many others do, one frustrating misdiagnosis after another. She eventually found relief 3 years later and has made it her mission to raising awareness of hip dysplasia and support the mission of the IHDI.

We are grateful and humbled by Rose’s advocacy, support and kindness.

On July 26th, 2016, I was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia in both of my hips, with small labral tears and FAI in both. Ever since 2014, I struggled with hip pain and incorrect diagnoses until I went to St. Louis in July of 2016 and was properly diagnosed. I had my first PAO surgery on February 22nd of 2017, hardware removal on December 1st of 2017, and have been struggling with uncommon complications since. I dealt with tendonitis in my illipsoas tendon, then muscle atrophy in the glutes, and now there’s a chance my labrum may need repaired, along with my IT band. My LPAO is scheduled for April 18th of this year tentatively depending on the status of my operated hip. My blog is where I have been posting about my journey. I am working on writing a book about the whole experience, because it has been absolutely life changing for my faith in God.

I am 20 years old, from a small town in southeast Iowa, and am currently a portrait photographer. My hips interfere with my work, but I love what I do, and I will never stop. I have been going to physical therapy the past three years of my life, and I have had my whole perspective changed through the PAO journey. I have met some of the toughest people. Despite having their dreams crushed and living in chronic pain, they all have Persevered And Overcame. It’s tough though. The late nights of pain, the waiting, the uncertainty, and being misunderstood. We are a unique breed of people, and I hope more awareness can be spread.

I made this shirt because I feel very strongly about spreading awareness for hip dysplasia. All proceeds from the sale of this shirt went to support the IHDI.

In just a week or so, it will be one year from my first PAO surgery, and I have been fighting every single day since then to get my hips back. I have gone to physical therapy for the past three years of my life. I get asked every week by random people I see at therapy, or just out in public about my condition. I tell them about hip dysplasia, pull out my screws from my backpack, and sadly hardly any of the people know what I’m talking about. They might say “oh, my dog has that,” but otherwise, it goes so unnoticed. It’s left in the shadows of the medical world, and needs to be brought to light. Over the past twelve months, I have watched people, and close friends I made through the PAO network, suffer from hip dysplasia. There needs to be a change. Hip dysplasia needs to be something widely known. I’m so determined to make that happen, and if this shirt can help a little, then so be it. My hip dysplasia was misdiagnosed several times and totally unseen until I went to see a fantastic physician in St. Louis. Nothing would ever prepare me for the day I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.

Here is an excerpt from a book I am writing about my DDH experience.

  Have you ever missed a step on a flight of stairs before? To me, it’s like a miniature heart attack that sneaks out of nowhere, taking your whole mind and body by complete surprise. When your foot lands on that vanishing wisp of air instead of a solid step, your heart momentarily skips a beat, and it feels as if the whole world around you screeches to a halt, everything passing you by in slow motion. The adrenaline jolts to the rescue and balance is regained, but your body is still shaking from what almost ended up disastrous.

            Take this experience, making it one thousand times more dynamic, and this describes how I felt when I received my medical diagnosis of developmental bilateral hip dysplasia. Instead of missing that single step, it felt like I had just fallen down the entire staircase, and was laying in shock at the bottom.

            I sat on the crunchy white medical paper, and still remember my whole body freezing up. Everything became inaudible in my head, and all I could feel was my heart beat slowing down. I don’t know what I said back to the resident doctor who was describing the x-rays of my hip, but I do know my mind was spinning in all different directions. I felt my gut tighten into a large, uncomfortable knot, my muscles tensed, and I tried my best to hold back in the confused tears that were begging to stream down my cheeks. It was a complete blow. It had come out of nowhere.

            I had never felt true heartbreak before in my life, but in that one sentence spoken by the resident doctor, I could feel the walls of my heart collapsing into nothing, along with all the confidence I had brought into the room. If my hopes and dreams were visible in that very moment, you would have seen them crumble from my hands to the floor like a hopeless mess. I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry, I wanted to run out of that small room, but instead I sat frozen in shock. Those four words he spoke in that span of five seconds seemed to hang in the sterile-smelling air for what seemed like an eternity, until I slowly opened my mind to accept this new reality for my life.

            “You have hip dysplasia.”