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.

Rose’s Story

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.”

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  1. Sarah Boehm says:

    I also know the devastation of hearing hip dysplasia. I was missed diagnosed as a baby then I had to have 30 surgeries to try to get my left hip in. I had a hip replacement when I was 15 years old. If anything could go wrong during surgery, it did. I always found a way to do things that the doctors said were impossible. I was a catcher for my softball team and I also marched in the high school band. I was crushed when my hips would not allow me to play professional softball because I wanted to play in the Olympics. I always knew that going through all of these trials and tribulations meant I was going to do something special. I had no idea that I would hear you have hip dysplasia a second time and now I’m hearing those very words about my son. The hospital said he does not have it and the pediatrician said he does not have it. Now I know why I went through 30 surgeries, it was to prepare me to fight for my son because I have the knowledge now to know to get him a second opinion. At month old I took him to an orthopedic surgeon and that’s when he was diagnosed. He wore the brace for 6 months and just had his 2 year old check up and his hips look great.
    I make every mother I see get their child’s hip checked but I can’t believe how many kids do not get diagnosed and their poor parents do not know to get then checked. An ultrasound for babies hips should be standard in hospitals. Hip dysplasia should be checked for just as they check the babies hearing. I am so passionate about this. I don’t want to see another baby go through this.
    Thank you for letting me share my story.
    Sarah Boehm

  2. Rose S says:

    Wow. That is quite a story, Sarah. 30 surgeries. Oh my. I appreciate your sharing. I’m so sorry you had to go through all that. You are an incredibly strong person. I’m glad you can advocate for your son, and you make a very good point that ultrasounds for babies’ hips should be standard in all hospitals. It should just be just as important as anything else, because it can impact a person for their lifetime.

  3. Kimberly H says:

    My daughter has DDH she just turned 4 and has so far had 2 surgery’s I seen this and really wanted to ask you some things through email it would be beyond helpful to me to speak with you about what your going through since I can’t with my little girl. Please if you can find the spare time email me.

  4. Rose Schmidgall says:

    Hi Kimberly! I am so sorry to hear that. That has to be very difficult. I would be more than happy to answer some questions for you. My email is

  5. Linda Bleck says:

    There is population of us hip warriors caught in limbo. Too old for PAOs and too damaged for the THRs to really help us walk because of degeneration in the spine, nerve damage, and complications from numerous surgeries to fix all the extenuating problems. Please get the word out I sent you a private email. We do our best to navigate as patients with this condition. It could be a humiliating experience for some of us. Now with the “opiate crisis” it can really be a problem.
    In the insurance world a THR is looked as a uniform for all types of recipients.Adult dysplasia patients can have a lot of hard engrained neural patterns to be changed. It takes an immense amount of therapy to rehab properly. Insurance companies will not cover it. The people evaluating the condition do not understand the condition and that is WHY awareness needs to be understood!

  6. beth says:


  7. Michelle says:

    My daughter is 25, she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at age 18, at the end of her senior year of high school, in the middle of her high school softball season. We live in Erie, Pa, and our long journey of care lead us from Erie, to Pittsburgh, them finally to an amazing doctor in Chicago. She had right Pao surgery in February 2012, six months later having the screws removed. We were told that someday she may need the left some also. We prayed that would never happen, but unfortunately in March 2017 she and her doctor determined that it was time to do the left hip too. She got married on July 8, 2017, and had the surgery on August 15th. She and her husband live in Cincinnati, and were both in newer jobs. So I took a Fmla from my job as a t scher to take care of her following her surgery. I was in Cincinnati with them until mid October. Her recovery this time was much longer. She is a physical therapist assistant and was told by her doctor before surgery that she could return to work in early December. Because of hers long recovery she didn’t return to with until late January of this year, and unfortunately her employee did not hold her full time with benefits position. She just recently started working elsewhere, and has what is hopefully the last follow up doctor visit on Monday in Chicago. She acd her doctor will be taking about screw removal hopefully, if it is finally 100 percent healed. It has been a long difficult journey for not only her but our family as well. It has been so difficult to watch out only child suffer through the dysplasia and the pain from it, and the long recovery after their surgeries. We feel blessed that the condition is somewhat fixable. We definitely understand all that you have gone through, it’s a rough road.

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