Patient Stories

Didn’t slow me down

I was born in 1970. When I started to walk my parents noticed that I was walking like a duck. So they took me to see a doctor on the military base that my dad was stationed at. They then sent me to a specialist. I was diagnosed with congenital dislocation of both hips. Where the ball of my femur was a rectangle shape on both sides and both sockets were extremely shallow. I went through multiple surgeries where the doctors broke both of my femurs and carved the femur ball and dug out the socket. I was placed in traction on and off for a long time. Had a cast from my chest to my toes with a steel bar between my legs. I had to learn how to walk 3 times. My last surgery I was about 4 years old. I was a huge football fan. And all I wanted to be was a football player. The doctors said that I would never be able to play sports.  The only problem I had other than the obvious of the surgeries and learning how to walk over and over. Was that I was a very active child. I would scoot around the house and outside in that cast. I kept breaking it. Very couple months I was getting a new cast. So the doctors put me in a what they said was an “unbreakable” cast. They said I was the first one with this condition to have this “unbreakable” cast. Well about a month later I was back at the hospital getting a new cast. I broke it sliding down the stairs outside. Then after all the healing the doctors advised my parents that I would have to have both hips replaced by the time I was 16. Well I’m 50 now and I still have the original pair. Now as the not being able to play sports growing up I played football,basketball, and baseball. When I turned 17 I joined the army. I had to get a waiver to join because this congenital dislocation of the hip is an automatic no go in the military. I ended up doing 20 years in the army. Went to airborne and air assault school did 2 combat tours.  But now I’m 50 years old. I do have knee and back issues. And I do walk with a slight waddle. I guess what I’m saying here is that no matter what the doctors say this condition will not slow you down it will not keep you from what you want to do. Unless you let it. I’m proof of that. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.