Natalie

My name is Natalie and I am 20 years old and I’ve been diagnosed with hip dysplasia and retroversion. I have danced since I was 3 and performed and played the flute since I was 7. I have always been very flexible and hyper-mobile and had clicky hips but nothing was suspected. I started performing arts uni in Guildford in September 2017, danced for 1 week and haven’t danced since… For the past 17 months I have seen so many different people who claimed they couldn’t help me as they thought the problem was in my back and even that it was all in my head! I knew there was a problem and I wasn’t going to give up until I found someone who believed me.

I finally found a specialist in London who changed my life as he knew what the problem was and said that he could help me. I’ve been on the waiting list for a PAO and have found out I’m going to have it on the 25th April.

My mental and emotional state are suffering and I am in pain every single day. It’s extremely difficult especially from going from dancing everyday to living mainly on the setee and not being able to move very much. People do not understand how much this physical condition can affect you in different ways.

I believe things happen for a reason however difficult they seem at the time, so I am determined to make it through this difficult part in my journey and one day I will dance again ❤




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  1. Amy says:

    I am 21 from Australia and I too was a dancer (although only recreationally). I was a bit of a late bloomer flexibility wise and I dedicated three years to get my flexibility and technique to where it was, it wasn’t too long after this I got hip pain, clicking and frequent popping out. I was 17 and wasn’t allowed to dance for a couple of months, the pain died down but I never completely lost the problem. After a few months of seeing the physio I stopped. But two and a half years later the pain returned. After 18 months of investigation I ended up having a PAO. I was getting a labral tear repair up until 6 hours before my surgery but last minute scans revealed I had hip dysplasia and this surgery would no longer be effective. I had the surgeon sit down with my before his patient before me and explain what the surgery was. I definitely didn’t have the time to process this at all.

    I am now 7 weeks post PAO, and I can already feel the benefits of the surgery. In my surgery I lost a litre of blood, causing me to become very weak at the beginning of my recovery so I was slowed down by a couple days. I didn’t get out of bed till 5 days post-op due to the dizziness and I was only forced up as my catheder needed to be removed to due infection risk. I remember at the time all the nurses kept saying to me trust me this recovery will go quicker than you think, you’ll start improving quickly. In that moment I didn’t believe it what so ever but now I can really see it. I am still using the one crutch when I am out for support but I am walking around the house and barely even limping now. I am going back to work in 6 days time and I work in hospitality, so it will definitely be a challenge but I am up for it. I can balance easily on my leg with minimal pain. The amount of pain I have been in for the last three weeks is pretty on par with the pain I was living in on the daily and I cannot wait till I am fully recovered if this is how the pain is now. I definitely do not regret getting the PAO at all and my surgeons assessment in theatre showed that I was actually a lot worse than expected and if I left it much longer they wouldn’t have been able to perform a PAO to preserve my hip. I am still yet to figure out if my left hip is actually to be done as its not as damaged as my right hip although I still have a lot of pain. I have been told I won’t be able to dance again technical wise although I will be able to go back to dancing in general. It is disappointing that I will never be able to dance the same again although I hope you aren’t faced with that same result! Getting the PAO will be a good decision if you do the right things. I used a new technology that I am not sure If you will have access too but if you do definitely take advantage of it, it’s called a Game Ready and it uses cold and compressions to use. I vouch for this and I definitely can see the benefits throughout my recovery. Even my surgeon is “extremely impressed with my progress.” Good luck to you and I hope you have as much success out of your surgery as I did!

  2. Summer-Jade McDonnell says:

    Hi there I was wondering if you’d be happy to talk to me about signs and symptoms at all? I believe I have hip dysplasia and have had the signs and symptoms for over 2 years now but seeing different medical professionals they aren’t helping me!! I just wondered if maybe talking about your signs and symptoms and mine would assist me in a bit of closure to myself as to if I do think it is which would help my argument of getting X-rays and maybe an MRI. thanks look forward to hearing from you!! Summer-Jade x

  3. nataliesharratt44@btinternet.com says:

    Hi Summer-Jade, it’s lovely to hear from you. I don’t mind taking about my symptoms at all and hope I can help you in some way. You started with a sharp stabbing pain in my R groin which gradually spread over the front of my hip, doing into my bum and back and is now down my thigh and into my knee. It aches all the time but the stabbing pain is pretty constant and it frequently pops and clicks when I stand up or move in the wrong position. Have you been having similar symptoms? I’m so sorry you’ve not had anything helpful from a health professional, sounds very similar to what I experienced. Have you not managed to have any scans or x-rays? Where are you from if you don’t mind me asking? Hope I can help you. Lots of love, Natalie x

  4. nataliesharratt44@btinternet.com says:

    Hi Amy, it’s so amazing hear from you and hear your story!! I am so sorry to hear what you went through and that you’re now not able to dance technically. However to hear how positive your experience after your PAO and that you can actually still dance at all is incredible and really gives me hope. I can’t believe it took 18 months for you to find out about having surgery like me and you’re the same age and a dancer. I wish you were nearer so we could meet up…maybe we can one day in the future when we’re both fully recovered.

    I was also told I have a label tear and then after a long time they found out I have hip dysplasia and retroversion as well so I needed a PAO. Maybe you were lucky that you didn’t have the time to think it all through because the more time I have to think about things the worse it can sometimes make me feel!! E

    I’m sorry you had a tough first week after your operation and glad you finally got sorted and you’re now already starting to feel so much better. Do you think you’ll be fully pain free? Wow that’s amazing if you’re already going back to work especially being hospitality. Look after yourself and take it easy!! Have you been able to do hydrotherapy after your PAO? I’ve never heard of a Game Ready before but will definitely look it up and see if it’s available in the UK.

    That is amazing to hear that from your surgeon and that you’re improving so well and quickly. Thank you so much, would be great to be able to chat during and after my recovery too. Lots of love, Natalie x

  5. Lindsy says:

    I suspect I have congenital hip displeasing. Getting plain films this week. My parents were told when I was born something was off. This was “lost to follow up” I have no limp. I do have clicking and popping worse on left. I’ve always had “wide hips” I’m wondering, aesthetically, had anyone noticed changes with surgery?

  6. Venetia Giovanni says:

    Hi there Natalie,

    Could you share the name of the surgeon you found in London? I have DDH and have had many ops but would like to have another opinion as I have been told there is nothing more they can do other than a hip replacement.

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