About two years ago, my 17 year old son started experiencing moderate to severe discomfort in his right hip. He was a lacrosse player and the pain seemed to be triggered by long practices with lots of running over hard ground. We tried all the normal things at first including; ice and heat, ibuprofen and just grin and bear it, but the pain seemed to get progressively worse.

When he started limping and missed a few games, we knew that we had to do something. Our fist stop was the pediatrician. He didn’t know exactly what was wrong, but recommended that we see a sports medicine doctor. This guy took some X-rays and suggested that Miles may be suffering from hip dysplasia. How can this be? I thought hip dysplasia was a condition only found in German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers.

I immediately got on the internet and began to research. I was surprised to learn that this condition was exceedingly common. By some estimates, it effects as many as 1 in 20. Before too long, I came across the IHDI website. I will be eternally grateful for the information and resources provided by this organization. I was able to educate myself on hip dysplasia, read actual patient stories and find a list of physicians who specialize in this condition.

To my surprise and delight, we are very close, only about 2.5 hours drive, from a hip dysplasia expert. We made an appointment to see the orthopedist.

From the moment we checked in, we knew we were in the right place. The receptionists, nurses and X-ray technicians put us at ease and the orthopedist was amazing. He exuded charm, confidence and empathy. Even though he was recommending major surgery, with a long and painful recovery, we felt confident that this was something that could be fixed and we were in good hands.

About 3 weeks ago, Miles underwent the PAO procedure. The operation took about 10 hours because he needed labrum repair too. It was nerve wracking and stressful, but the frequent updates through the EASE App made it much better. The orthopedist met with us immediately after the surgery to answer our questions and let us know that everything went according to plan and we could expect very good results.

Post op, we spent about 4 days at the hospital. I can’t say enough good things about the nurses and support staff. They are unsung heroes who watched over my son day and night. The care and expertise they provided was exceptional. They even set up a bed in the hospital room so my wife and I could be by his side at all times.

Hip dysplasia sucks, but we are so thankful and blessed for the help we received along the path. In particular, we appreciate the dedicated doctors and nurses, the IHDI, the Whitney family and everyone who supports the IHDI Mission. If sharing our story helps even one person who is suffering from this condition, then that, for me, will have been a big accomplishment.

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3 Notes

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  1. Cassandra Burgess-Alex says:

    Thank you for sharing his story. My daughter was recently diagnosed and also is an athlete so this story is helpful.

  2. Ana says:

    My son is 13 and a gymnast. Recently, after practice, he mentioned pain in his right hip. The pain is located right at the bend of the hip…in the front. In the past he’d complain of his legs hurting and he’d say it was the outer hip area, along the IT bands location. He’d say that whenever we did a lot of walking like in a mall. I thought it was strange that a gymnast would complain of hurting legs from a stroll in the mall. I recently heard about hip dysplasia because a friend’s daughter was diagnosed but what I’m not sure about is the pain location. We’ve mentioned the “sore legs” to his pediatrician who said it was nothing. I’m not sure if my son is having growing pains or if I should be worried about dysplasia. Thank you.

  3. Marie says:

    Hi, Thank you for sharing this story. My son is 15 and has pain in and around the hip area for almost 2 years now. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We are told he might need PAO. How is your son doing now?

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