Patient Stories

Emergency hip replacement at 49

I had been suffering from pain since my 20s in my right leg. I was diagnosed with sciatica at 24 and began regular consumption of ibuprofen to manage the pain. Over the years I requested 2 spinal xrays and an MRI scan of my spine to try to find out what was causing the ‘sciatica’.  After the MRI scan showed nothing, I was encouraged to keep exercising and stretching. I said to my doctor ‘are you sure I don’t have arthritis’ and he said ‘it can’t  be arthritis because you feel better after exercise.’  5 years later I asked for a hip x ray because of a grinding sound. The physio said they thought maybe I had very mild wear and tear. On the day of the xray, the radiologist couldn’t hide his shock and said ‘have you ever had your hip xrayed before?’ No, I said, why?

He tells me they look very abnormal. The next day the physio calls to tell me I need an emergency hip replacement! After the surgery, the surgeon explained that I had hip dysplasia bringing on early onset osteoarthritis. My new joint was screwed into my pelvis to give stability. All the pain in the left leg has finally gone after all these years. The right hip has a little bit of cartilage left, so need a hip replacement in the future. 

It amazes me that despite having been in constant pain for 25 years, with my leg ‘giving way’ when walking, having a limp that everyone commented on, sleepless nights, etc etc….it took ME to suggest a hip xray, not my doctors or physios! More education is needed about hip dysplasia.