In July of 2012 I started my hip dysplasia journey. Like most hip dysplasia journeys, it has not been easy by any means. Over the years, I have suffered through many unnecessary tests and many false diagnoses. There were many nights of little to no sleep caused by pain that ice nor heat could alleviate.

When I first started seeing doctors for my pain no one thought I could have adult hip dysplasia; I actually diagnosed myself with hip dysplasia and asked the doctor providing my care at the time if he could check me for adult hip dysplasia as I had completed my own research and had come up with the diagnosis of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH). He shut me down and stated that hip dysplasia is “caught in infancy” and that “there isn’t any way that I could have DDH”. I finally convinced that doctor to send me to an outside provider and was referred to an orthopedic specialist.

After seeing a few specialists, I finally had my answer to my pain, adult hip dysplasia. That is an appointment that I will never forget; the doctor walked in the room, took one glance at my x-ray’s and said “you have adult hip dysplasia”. I immediately broke down and started crying in the exam room. I was so frustrated because I was previously told that there was no way that I could have hip dysplasia as an adult. While this diagnosis should have come as no surprise to me since I had completed so much research I was still shocked, frustrated, and scared.

He said that he believed that I needed a periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) to relieve my pain and had sent to me Chicago, IL for an opinion on the course of treatment that was best in my situation. As I did so many times before, I conducted my own research on the treatments and also on hip dysplasia specialists. I ended up also seeing doctors in Boston, MA and Columbus, OH to make sure I exhausted all of my options. I ultimately ended up in Columbus, OH for my hip surgeries.

It took consulting five specialists until I got a correct diagnosis of hip dysplasia and I personally decided on getting opinions from three hip dysplasia specialists to decide on whether or not to have the periacetabular osteotomy surgery since it is such a complex major surgery.

To date I have had the following surgical procedures:

  • May 7, 2013

Right hip arthroscopy (labrum repair and capsular plication)

  • February 25, 2014

Right hip periacetabular osteotomy

  • November 20, 2014

Left hip periacetabular osteotomy
Left hip arthroscopy (labrum repair and FAI impingement removal)

  • July 30, 2015

Right hip hardware removal
Left hip hardware removal
Right hip arthroscopy (bursa removal)

  • June 1, 2016

Spinal cord stimulator seven-day trial

  • July 27, 2016

Spinal cord stimulator permanent implant

  • June 5, 2018

Left total hip replacement

Without these procedures, I do not know what my quality of life would be today. These surgeries gave me the ability to walk more than five minutes without being in excruciating pain, gave me the ability to finish college, and also gave me the opportunity to accept my dream job after graduation. Prior to my PAO’s I could not accomplish the simple tasks of grocery shopping or walking around my small hometown university campus. In fact, I dropped all my college classes the semester I was getting diagnosed due to the constant pain.

Even though I have faced MANY setbacks in my recovery due to other underlying conditions, I am so thankful for so many who have put me back together so many times. My amazing surgeon and his staff, along with my pain management doctor who has been able to give me a lot of my life back. While I will always be battling hip dysplasia and pain, I can only hope that someday in the future that ALL hip dysplasia cases will be caught in infancy and that not a single case will be missed.

Due to all the struggles I have personally faced and my own battle with adult hip dysplasia it is so important for me to raise awareness. This is why I have started to put on an annual race in Columbus, OH called the “Hip Hop 5K, Columbus”. This race will raise awareness for hip dysplasia and all proceeds will go straight to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) so they can continue their research for better treatment options.

The First Annual Hip Hop 5K, Columbus will be taking place in Canal Winchester, OH on Saturday September 15, 2018 at 9AM. I would love for you to come out and support the cause! You don’t have to live in the Columbus, OH area to participate. In fact, I have already had several people reach out to me from surrounding states about the race and about traveling to come and participle or volunteer. If you can make the travel arrangements, please come and join us!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about The Hip Hop 5K, Columbus. You can email me directly at: columbushiphop5k@gmail.com

You can find more info about the Hip Hop 5K, Columbus at: runsignup.com/columbushiphop5k

I know there are other stories out there like mine and it is important for others in my position to remember to do their own research, to not give up, and to keep pushing through until they find the cause of their pain; even if it is not due to hip dysplasia. Hang in there!

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  1. Linda Bleck says:

    Really wonderful story and account of the struggles adult hip dysplasia patients face. Wishing you good health and less pain!

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