Marie’s Story

I was 14 when I was first diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia. The year was 2007.

At the age of 14 I was a national level gymnast. I know I always happened to have hips that were more flexible than most, but I did not think anything of it.

I had a bad fall in gymnastics on April 26th 2006 and I will never forget that day. I fell from the trampoline and the fall was not a really bad one I just landed very awkwardly on my leg. My coach and my mother realized something was terribly wrong when I hesitated to get up. ( I am one to get right up after a fall)

At that moment I still did not know what was awaiting me as I half lay/sat there for a moment. Finally I told myself “ok Marie now stand up”. I felt the most incredibly life altering pain that I have ever felt in my life. My hip seem not able to bear my weight and it was so painful.

I was rushed to the emergency room. When I got there they gave me an injectable medication in my hip to reduce the pain. The X-ray did not show anything. I probably tore a muscle and so I was given crutches and sent home.

I was in crutches for 2 months. I kept complaining about having pain.It was very real to me that being but everyone around me seem to think I was seeking attention, as the doctors could not find anything wrong.

I remember feeling dismissed and so alone. My coach was displeased with me because I would go to training and could not perform to what was expected. My parents were concerned but at the same time were being told by the so called professionals that I was fine. It was a very long heartbreaking 3 months for me.

On my next checkup with the doc I told him “no one believes me you have put everyone against me and I am only 14 if you really care please help me I am in a lot of pain”. The doc then told my mom that he would schedule an MRI and in the meantime, I would start intensive physiotherapy.

My physiotherapist was the most amazing and compassionate woman I had ever met. She really helped me. I told her about the events leading up to my physiotherapy as well as what felt good and what didn’t. She asked me what does the pain feel like or what it remind me of. I explained that sometimes I would sit and cross my legs and I would feel a crack and a jolt of pain would go through my hip. The pain would linger there for awhile after it happened and for the most part the pain was dull and achy.

She said “at the top of your head tell me exactly what hurts and really listen to your body”. I said “Dominique my bones hurt”.

She said that for someone who had never broken a bone in their life to be able to say that your bones hurt that there must be a serious issue.

I got the results of the MRI and the physiotherapist met my parents and I to see the orthopaedic surgeon. We saw (all in the same hospital) the doc and he said that the results were negative, everything looked fine. My physiotherapist pushed for him to do something more and told him what I had told her. We were referred to an adult specialist. All the while, still in intensive physiotherapy.

Finally on March 11th 2007 we saw the specialist. He asked what were my complaints and I told him. He pulled up the X-ray and looked at them (the same one everyone else has been looking at) and said it looks like you have major issues. My mother,Marie, of course started to panic.

He looked at the MRI and turned to me. “You must be an amazing athlete and have great pain tolerance because most people, if they were in your situation, would hardly be able to walk” he said.

He explained that he never performed this type of extensive surgery on someone my age. The particular problems were pertinent to my hip dysplasia and the additional damage due to overuse and my fall in 2006.

He said that I would need surgery; Pelvic Osteotomy and hip Arthroplasty on my left side. He said we would leave the right hip alone as it was not bad and in the future if I ever had deterioration of the cartilage on the right side we would do a Arthroscopy.

On July 17th 2007 (my birthday), the phone rang and I assumed it may be more birthday wishes. My dad was at a meeting and my mom was at to the grocery store. It was no birthday wish. It was the hospital calling  to tell me that the doctor was ready to perform surgery on my hip and that I would have a pre op on August 15 and the surgery on the 21st. She ended the call with a “happy birthday”. Mom walked in shortly after and asked why I looked like I just saw a ghost. I explained to her the situation and she said it would be ok, we would get through it together.

As scheduled we went in for the pre op and a few days later got the surgery. I was given a epidural on top of all the other things they gave me to ensure that I had good pain management afterward. I was in the hospital for 16 days and on crutches for 4 months. I learned I take my first steps with my physiotherapist Dominique.

It was a long and painful recovery and after many tears shed, and a scar of 29.6 cm, I am doing great. Plus I now have 3 pins in my hip. I was not able to go back into gymnastics at the same level but it does not stop me from still participating.

The pain is gone but some days, depending on the weather and how much exercise I’ve done, I need to rest as my hip gets very sore.

Anyhow, all this my story and I am happy I have shared it.



(Ontario, Canada)

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17 Notes

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  1. cortney jones says:

    Hi marie, i am a 14 year old girl and today I was diagnosed with mild hip dysplasia. I am a track runner and have intense training. I am worried that if i get the surgery i wont be able to run anymore. Were you able to return?

  2. Julianne poynter says:

    Hi I’m 15 and actually today I was just diagnosed with dysplasia. I have been playing volleyball since I was in 7th grade and I’m a sophomore.i also do hurdles and long distance for track.this year for volleyball 4 months prior to today I twisted and dove for a ball. I felt a sharp pain in my hip and I thought I just pulled a muscle so I thought nothing of it until I kept playing through the season and it just kept getting worse so finally I went to the doctor and first I was diagnosed with bursitis and they gave me anti-inflammatory medicine and it wasn’t helping and the pain was just getting worse. So I went back and they refered me to a orthopedic doctor and they took an MRI and said I had a labral tear and sent me to this doctor in cranberry. He then told me I was diagnosed with dysplasia. And he said I would need 2 surgeries and sports isn’t a good idea there’s a new surgery in this area to restructure my hip socket to make it deeper. I’m so nervous because sports is my life like you, I did gymnastics for 10 years and was in competitive for a long time and I was very flexible compared to everyone else and now I know why. I have done so many sports and I really don’t want to give it up. Idk what I should do.

  3. Marie says:

    @cortney jones & Julianne poynter

    Try to think of it as a challenge try to be REALLY positive as the recovery is a long process. And you will hesistance to do anything with the leg/hip even after a few months or so.

    The biggest struggle is the first step without a walking aid you feel IMMENSE discomfort but you get used to it and the joint gets stronger.

    YOU won’t want to run or do anything weird or intense with it because you feel like it’s not totally “Stable” but eventually you willl regain everything, something that helped me allthough my muscles and leg were so sore was walking A LOT.

    They essentially cut through your muscles to get to the bone so you will have to rebuilt all of that.

    I think it was after 9 months did I feel comfortable enough to jog a little, swimming helped me a lot.

    One thing though that still have not regain I can’t feel anything skin wise on the side of my thigh. went someone touches me there feel more like pins and needles.

    It’s hard for them not to damage any of the nerve endings that are there.

  4. Althea says:


    My daughter is 5. She’s went through the surgeries already (she was 22mo & 25mo) for each hip, but her left hip is not growing correctly, so they’re going back in and repin and rescrew it. She does gymnastics and rides horses right now, when do you think she could go back to this, or if it is feasible? Should she go back to school? I worry about the “dignity” part of the cast and diaper situation. I don’t want her to be embarassed or for kids to make fun of her. During her first surgeries, I was able to cover the diapers with shorts and diaper covers and lots of dress, will this be ok? How did you deal with this part? Should I just stay home with her? Thank you, god bless you, you little angel! I am such an emotional wreck, thank you.

  5. Isaac says:

    I was just diagnosed with hip dysplasia yesterday. I will need surgeries in both hips. I am relieved to know why I have been in so much pain, but very worried about the surgeries. I am wondering if I should not have the surgery and just go through hip replacement when I have to. I am 16 years old.

  6. Althea says:

    I realize my concern was a pretty “clueless-worried mommy” type of question. I wanted to update any readers that Manaia -being 5 was not required to be in a cast. The timing with Christmas break was perfect, with school and work (more paid days off). We got her these slip-on handles for the toilet (only $25). It was very painful and a lot more blood than planned, for the first week, but she made it. She was in a brace with no-weight-bearing for 6 weeks with a wheelchair and walker. Today, she has a lip, but special exercises are building her hip muscles back up. In a month, we go in to have her pins taken out.

    Isaac, if I were your mom, I’d have you get the surgery done now. You’re young, you’ll heal faster and family would be there to help. When you’re older you have to worry about work and healing time is longer. We were told if we did not get this last surgery done for our daughter she would develop arthritis by the time she was 30 years of age. Now, supposedly she’ll be held off from that until old age -like the rest of us. Take care all!

  7. Mikayla says:

    Dear Isaac,
    I think that you should wait just until you are fully done growing. I’m 12 and was diagnosed at 10. I had multiple surgeries to try and fix bilateral dysplasia and my femural angles. I had been in rehab for a year now but I just could get rid of my limp. I was going back to running and hopefully even a sport. Then I started to get pain in my hip, we went to the emergency department and they said to go see my surgeon straight away. I had rebound dysplasia, where because I’m tall for my age and I kept growing the surgeries have all undone themselves. I now have to get shots every 3 months for 3 years that are really painful because if we do the surgery that I need now the same thing could happen again. Please just check that your growth plates are done growing and that there is no chance of rebound dysplasia.

  8. Catherine says:

    Cortney Jones!! I am a track runner too and contemplating getting a PAO to fix my dsyplasia. Did you end up getting the surgery? My email is anyone who is a runner or running again after PAO please email me!

  9. Sheryl K. says:

    Wow I am in awe of this site after reading all the posts from the young gals (as mostly been gals I seen). I am so glad I found this site. We were told Sep 12, 2013 that our now 16 yr old (was 15) has hip dysplasia more in the right than the left. We were seeing an orthopedic specialist for about a yr or so as she supposedly pulled a hamstring left leg in Ph Ed in May 2012 (was diagnosed by regular family dr) but ended up seeing specialist & he put her in brace & crutches & PT it did get better but then it acted up again so back in brace & crutches. Well by Sep 2013 she was on crutches & braces mainly for over 6 months so when it improved again this time she needed very strict PT so went to Mayo Clinic & they “seen” she had to be taught to walk again–which sounded weird I know–but after spending an hour with PT she was out of her brace (even had dr throw it away) and she was given 2 weeks to wean off crutches but we left there with NO crutches. Well to go back a bit before we went to PT at Mayo–the orthopedic specialist sent us to Mayo ortho as he was “lost” to what was causing her knee pain for such a long time but first he took xrays of her hips & when they came back he asked if she was breech & I said no why? He said she has hip dysplasia right being worse then left so he sent us to Mayo Clinic ortho specialist & she told us what it was & what it meant for our daughter—arthritis for sure at much younger age than if not had it–IF she was diagnosed BEFORE 5 yrs old they could have done a surgery but cause she wasn’t now she said we would wait til she started getting hip pain before we would think of a different type of surgery they can do on older children like her—she explained surgery. Than after that apt was when we went to the PT for the hour “training”. Well just recently found out our daughter has been having pain in her hip as it had got so bad that she missed school yesterday & that is when she told us she had been having pain on & off but didn’t tell us as she does not want to go thru the surgery at such a young age. I told her it will only get worse & she can get arthritis in her hips (which Dr told us) & from my experience & her gramps told her she don’t want that. I found this site & been reading all day the different stories & the ones in the posts of the ones whom posted. I asked her to read some but she didn’t want to. But I know she experiences a lot of the pain many of the girls have also. The only difference in her and most of these is that she is not active in sports all she has to do with sports is in P.E.. I notice she can not stand/walk for long either without pain or even sit long either. Mainly the walking/standing pain from before we found out hip dysplasia she always said it was from her knees but I am wondering if it could “feel” like it is from her kneed but really in her hip? I know & understand more form her Dr at Mayo Clinic what could be in store for her future (and now from reading these posts esp from ones whom didn’t have the surgery at young age & how they were at older age)but she don’t realize what her future could be like (she has learning disability). How many of the teen girls went thru the surgery & what is their outcome form surgery & how long ago did they have it & one’s whom knew n was told as teen to have surgery but didn’t what happened to you (more pain/arthritis young/not enjoying life as in pain)? We do not want to put our daughter thru surgery at young age if it is NOT going to help/if she going to be in pain say in a yr or so later/get arthritis young age & IF she WILL have to have another surgery on hip in a yr or shortly after 1st? I know she will have to have it also on her left hip but right now her right is the worst. what does moderate hip dysplasia mean compared to mild? We live in MN. How many years “relief of pain” would she get if have surgery at 16 compared to waiting til hopefully like 30 or so? Please email me at your comments on either positive or negative about surgery as doubt if I will be able to find this site again—as it was “just happened upon”.

  10. Alexx says:

    Hi I’m Alexx & I’m 14 years old. My whole life I’ve been a very athletic & competitive person who pushes myself to be better & always improve in everything. l started playing competitive hockey, competitive soccer & i started dancing competitively at a young age. In 2009 while playing soccer i started to have foot issues to the point i would cry on the field because i was in so much pain. (Im one to suck it up & deal with it) after a couple of months of not being able to walk without pain my mom brought me to a foot specialist i was told i had planter-fasciitis & was given orthotics & stretches to do. Months later i was still in pain. But soccer season had ended so i wasn’t running as much anymore. My second summer of playing soccer was even more painful. By my third season i would play 10 minutes of the game (1 hour 1/2) & i would have to sit the rest. I was told by my doctor that because of compensating for my feet i had messed up my hips. So that ended my soccer probably career. In 2013 while playing hockey i was hit into the boards & was diagnosed with a hip pointer injury. Being the person i am i wasn’t going to stop anything. My injury would get better than i was have a set back it continued for 5 months. Ever since my second season of soccer i hadn’t been abled to run without pain. I danced in Boston the summer of 2014 for a week & i was okay sore but not as sore as i had been for months i was making process. School started in September & the first class i was told i had to run trails i tried to talk to my teacher about it but since i didn’t have doctors note she forced me to. For 2 weeks i ran putting myself in more pain by the day. Finally i had gotta a appointment with my physiotherapist who refereed me to the Carlton Sports Clinic after a couple weeks of no improvement. I was sent for x-ray & three days later i was diagnosed with hip dyplaisia. In 2 months I’m meeting with an Orthopedic surgeon. Im scared to lose my whole life. Dance is now all i have left since hockey & soccer hurt to play now. I dont want to have to give up everything.

  11. Addie says:

    my story is pretty much like everyone else’s, sports, pain, confusion and then finally a diagnosis. I’m 16, and getting surgery this summer. My only question is about the physical appearance for those who have gone through it. My weight distribution is all in my sides/waist. I have barely any weight around the hip joint, kind of looks like a dip. I’m not an apple shape, I have a pretty large bum, it’s just awkward because my hips feel completely exposed and it gives me a not so hourglass shape. Does that change?

  12. Marie says:

    My scar look pretty good now after 7 years since my surgery.
    It is a rather large scar. I had a lot of weight loss at the time the surgery happened. I lost a lot of muscle mass because of my immobility. I gained back the muscle and now all is good! But your shape won’t change. The one thing I notice is the shape of the hip bone looks slightly different.

  13. Sabrina says:

    Hi, I know this is really late, but I’m 14 and have been experiencing pain in my right hip and knee. Last year in April, I had SCFE surgery in my left hip and they placed a screw in my hip. But now my right hip is just throbbing with pain. I’m in basketball and I really don’t know what to do. My mom and dad just think I’m paranoid. And if this helps a bit, everyday, (about twice), I get a very hard pull on the back of both of my knees and it hurts terribly even to walk.
    This happens with both legs, I can’t ever be in one position too long, then I get pain in both hips. I feel like there is a pressure pushing on them. If anyone can please tell me what is wrong.

  14. Jennie Price says:

    Hi Marie,

    I’m Jennie and I’m 14 now I have had hip dysplasia all my life but I only found out the day before I started secondary school when I went to the doctors. I know you probably can’t answer this question maybe cause it hasn’t happened to you but when you were in school did you ever get tired just from walking up a flight of stairs or even walking from school to home.

    Have you ever had to use a wheelchair since you found out that you had hip dysplasia?

    I have a get really bad cramps in both of my hips and can’t walk for ages and people ask me what’s wrong but they don’t understand when I tell them could you give me any tips as to how to explain it better to them.

  15. Tbhzoey says:

    Hello Marie, I’m zoey…
    I was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia the day of my birth and I was sent home in a hard brace which I wore until I was about four years old. Unlike other children I fought to walk in my brace and soon succeeded. Now I am of the age of 13 and I’ve gone to physical therapy numerous times and has to sit out during track season due to my hips clicking or locking in place. As a child in music class messing around on the floor my legs would lock in place and I’d be rushed out on a wheel chair and sent home which happened consistently. Arthritis runs in my family and the doctor told my parents I may never walk or compete in athletics. The doctor was wrong. I dance, cheer, play basketball, run track and play softball. Cheering by far is the hardest because I can sit in a splitting position but can’t stop my legs from oddly turning outwards when they should not. When explaining my condition to people I define it as just another test in life. I shall never let my disability hold me back, ever.

  16. Pablo says:
    My son is 12 years old and has been playing basketball, baseball and soccer since he was 5. These last 4 years he’s only played basketball. He had a recent fall at school and fell on his right elbow. We had X-rays done but no fracture displayed. His elbow continued to hurt him, so we took him to an Orthopedic doctor. He said the X-rays don’t look right and did an MRI. The MRI didn’t show anything either and he recommended I go to a pediatrician orthopedic. This doctor said he may have epyshial dysplasia and to see a genetics doctor. We saw the genetics doctor and she did a full physical to confirm the diagnosis of epyshial dysplasia. She said he does have it but needs to have a DNA genetic blood test to see if a gene is positive for that disorder. I still don’t understand how he woukd have this disorder. He just grew 6 inches in a year and always healthy.I feel like the doctors are not sure and just determine what they think it is. I still believe he’ll grow out of this . The genetic doctor said that this usually occurs in the hips and there is no cure but just treatment. I don know what to do and wish I can speak to someone who has been diagnosed with this disorder as a child.

  17. Connie Reynolds says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. My daughter Maddie is 11 years old and a level 8 JO gymnast and a competitive dancer. She just placed 8th in The all around at a national meet. Last year she made it to world championships as a competitive dancer. She’s been complaining of hip and back pain for 3 months.
    On Friday, the orthopedist diagnosed her with hip dysplasia and immediately pulled her from all activities. We are scheduled to see the Pediatric orthopedic surgeon Wednesday. Knowing you returned to a sport you loved is a comfort. Her story is quite similar to your’s. Praying for a miracle for my little girl.

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