Shelby’s Story

My name is Shelby and I was first diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia when I was 19 years old.

My story started when I was 14 years old and very active in high-school volleyball, basketball and softball. I was a pitcher on our high school softball team when I first started having pain in my right hip. It started with what felt like a pulled muscle. I went through 2 months of physical therapy, but it never really got better and the pain would come and go.

A year later, the pain was more constant so I went for a follow up with a specialist who did multiple x-rays, CT scans and even watched me pitch. They still couldn’t find a solution. I continued to do physical therapy and was put on anti-inflammatory pills. At this point, tired of doing physical therapy and not getting anywhere, I decided that this was something I would probably have to live with. I went on to finish out my high school athletic career and went on to play volleyball at Wartburg College.

Since I was down to playing only one sport in college; the pain in my right hip subsided until the summer after my first year of college. I was in practice with the team, before the start of my second season, when I came down from a block and pain went through my leg and into my hip socket. I went to the emergency room and I knew something was really wrong.

They performed yet again another x-ray, where they found I had hip dysplasia in both hips, but it was more prominent on my right side. They said the only fix was to have surgery, a Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO) or a Ganz procedure. Since it was right before the season started I opted to wait until afterwards.

On December 11, 2003 I had a PAO on my right hip. The surgery took approximately 5 hours and I was in the hospital for 5 days. I had to have 2 blood transfusions during my stay and an x-ray was taken the day after. I had a follow up x-ray a few weeks later to make sure the bone was healing properly; and another follow up 2 months after surgery which confirmed the bone had healed and I could start to put weight on it again.

Four months after the surgery I was able to start running again and eventually started playing volleyball again. I was able to play volleyball the next season which was only eight months after having the corrective surgery. I also had follow up x-rays after one and two years respectively. The x-rays confirmed the screws were still in place and nothing had shifted.

Now, seven years later, I have no pain in my hip socket and able to run and workout like I would like to. The only issue I have seen from the surgery is tightness in the muscles in my right leg.

I hope that my story might help adults who have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia see that there is another solution to this and it is possible to return to a normal life, pain free!

Note from IHDI: We followed up with Shelby 6 years after she sent us her story. Read that interview here:


[+] Enlarge

Shelby in action after surgery

[+] Enlarge

X-Ray the day after surgery

[+] Enlarge

X-Ray one year later

Is this your story? Log in to reply to comments.

53 Notes

+ Leave A Note

  1. Julie Mendenhall says:

    Wow Shelby, that is an encouraging story! We are just starting this journey. My 14 year old daughter had a similar experience to yours at a volleyball tournament. We have been trying to figure out what has been going on since September. She has a labral tear, cyst, and snapping psoas. On Feburary 14 we saw a sergon in Tacoma Wa who told us she has hip dyplasia in both hips, but more developed on the right. He wants to do a PAO on her. It is so scary as a parent to sign up for that not knowing if it will cause her more issues and pain! I appreciate all input as I make this decision!

  2. Julie Mendenhall says:

    Hi Shelby,
    Have you ever had to take the hardware out, and does it bother you? Where did you have your surery done?

  3. alicia rodriguez says:

    Shelby, i appreciate your story and am glad you had a great outcome, but to be honest i dont feel any better about having the procedure. im 22 and scared out of my mind. i just found out my diagnosis 2 weeks or so ago and was told my hips were so bad we cant wait. So far ive had to drop out of college, lost my job and my house. im at my lowest and find it unbearably hard to get out of bed and not cry everyday! on top of everything else im maid of honor at my best friends wedding in june.. which only gives me 1.5 months to recover before i can stand with her at the alter. how did u cope? i live in montana and they cant do the surgery here which scares me even more. im most afraid of the pain. is there anything helpfull you can tell me about that? ill be flying out to San Diego for my surgery with Dr. Santore have you ever heard of him? i would appreciate any comfort you can give me!!

  4. Julie Mendenhall says:

    Hi Alicia,
    It sounds like you and my daughter Whitney are going down the same path. Are they going to do a POA for your surgery? Whitney is supposed to have Dr. Mayo in Tacoma WA. Is Dr. Santore a hip dysplasia specialist? We are still trying to figure all of this out along with you. Keep us posted during your experience. We will keep you in our prayers.

  5. alicia rodriguez says:

    yes i’ll be having the POA surgery on both hips, they have to be done at seperate times so i’ll have the second surgery after i recover from the first.
    My doctor here in montana highly recomended Dr. Santore and told me and my parents if i were his daughter Dr. Santore would be his only option.
    he seems pretty amazing so maybe you guys should look into him as well.
    we’ve already gone forward with sending records and are waiting for an appoinment.
    here is his page. he’s been around the world speaking of these procedures.
    Tell whitney to hang in there cause if i have to, its only fair if she does too;)your family is in the rodriguezs prayers as well! if you or her would like, you can email me at
    to be honest im so glad im not alone in this!

  6. Shelby says:

    Hi all! I just saw all of these posts and am so glad that you have all read my story!

    Julie-yes, it sounds like your daughter and I have a similar background. My pain started when I was 14 as well. The decision to do the surgery is a very scary one, but the ability to live without all of the pain is worth it in the end. I feel like the younger and more active you are, will make the recovery much speedier. I wish your daughter the best of luck! Let me know if I can help!

    Alicia-I was also in college when I had my procedure and was lucky enough to have it done over Christmas break and had professors who were willing to work with me. This can be something very hard to deal with, but just be positive and I wish you the best of luck!

  7. Julie Mendenhall says:

    Hi Shelby,
    Thank you for your response. Did your pain get worse as you got older? Did they ever say you had a torn labrum and if so did they fix it? Do you have a pain free life now or did you have any new pain from the surgery? Did they leave your screws in? We are still talking with doctors trying to figure this out for Whitney. Thank you so much for sharing with us! I gave your mom my email if you would ever be willing to email.

  8. Shelby Bayler says:

    Hi Shelby,
    My name is Shelby and I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia last fall. I have been in pain for about 3 or 4 years now. I am very active in volleyball and softball and will be a senior this year. Softball is my strong spot but I’m not planning on a career in either past high school. We have scheduled my surgery for June 27th of this year. I walked into my volleyball practice today and realized that I wasn’t going to get to play this year. All day I had been thinking about this surgery and missing my volleyball season then my mom showed me your story. This story has definately been and eye opener for me and I’m so glad you’ve shared your story. In your opinion were you glad that you did your surgey when you did and based on your past and how you have felt since your surgery do you think it is a good idea for me to follow through with this operation now?

  9. Teresa Bayler says:

    I am writing in regards to my daughter-Shelby, she is 17 and very athletic. She plays volleyball and softball. She was diagnosed early last fall of Hip Dysplasia she is scheduled for surgery later this month. She will be a senior this fall and is adament that she will be ready for softball next spring. She will miss her senior year of volleyball, but she plans on still being a part of the team. She is beginning to realize just how close the surgery is and what she is going to miss out on this summer and fall. She is in pain all of the time. Sometimes worse than others. She sleeps on a heating pad most every night and uses ice on her hip alot. Riding in a vehicle for long periods of time is very painful, sitting and standing also painful. Movement sometimes helps but not always. She doesn’t let her pain stop her from doing things, but she does use alot of ibuprofen and tylenol. Her pain scale is always at least a 3 as a constant and will be as high as a 6 or 7 at its worse. She is never completely without pain. If anyone has any encouragement for her it would be appreciated greatly.

  10. Julie Mendenhall says:

    Hi Teresa,
    I am in the same boat with my 14 year old daughter Whitney. Are you looking at having a PAO surgery? Whitney also has a torn labrum, does Shelby? We are going to fix that first and see if that helps her pain before doing the PAO surgery? They say that the PAO is very helpful for hip dysplasia, but it is so scary to sign up for! Whitney was taking a final yesterday and came home in tears because the pain of sitting to long bothers her. She has not been able to play volleyball since November and she misses it! Normally plays it all year long. The reduced activity has helped the pain level.

  11. Michele Theriot says:

    My daughter now 15 years. Plays volleyball and softball. She has been having right hip pain going on a year and a half. The pain tends to come and go but recently seems to be getting worse. A year ago we saw an orthopedic dr who x-rayed her hip and found nothing… She has been through physical therapy that doesn’t seem to help.. Last week we seen another orthopedic who x-rayed again and did an MRI. Still nothing showed up on the test. My daughter has a high tolerance for pain and something has got to be causing this pain. Any suggestions on what to do next

  12. Alexa says:

    Hi My name is Alexa and Im 23 years old. I was diagnosed with mild Dysplasia on my Right hip. I have on and off pain in my right hip for the past 2 years. I used to dance alot, but because of the dull ache in my right hip I decided to decrease my dancing activity. I had a hip scope for a torn labrum when I was 13 years old. I saw Doctor Sink at The Hospital for Special Surgeries. He said I have mild Dysplasia on both hips; however, I only have pain in my Right hip. Just sharing my story to help others and discuss with you all.

  13. Julie Mendenhall says:

    Hi Alexa. Wow you sound like my daugter Whitney. We have been trying to decide course of action now. Has Dysplasia and torn labrum. We have two opinions. One doc says to fix torn labrum. One says do a PA0! Did the surgery on labrum help you all or did you tear it again?
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. Natalie says:


    So grateful there is all this information. I have just been diagnosed with mild dysplasia in my right hip. I am awaiting specialist advice for how to proceed as I am very active in life (half marathon runner, horse rider, yoga, swimming, spinning etc). I know its important to exercise to keep the muscles strong to support the hip but I also know they may tell me to chill out on the exercise as its too much for the hip.
    I have a split mind at the moment; is my hip not bad enough for surgery and I should ride it out until I need a new hip later in life (40 – 50 years old) or do I have the PAO now to avoid a THR later. I really never want an alien joint in my body, my mum has a replaced knee (50 years old) and my nan a replaced hip (75 years old) and they arnt the same after but this op isnt a light one, but recovery in yound people (I am 24) is set to be quick and the op successful…

    Appreciate the specialist will know more but also appreciate having advice from those also suffering.


  15. Shari Tepperman says:

    Hi My name is Shari I’m 32 years old I have been suffering with left hip dysplasia since I was a teen. I have always been very active, I ran track and cross country in high school and continued to stay very active up until about a year and half ago when I really started to feel the pain and couldn’t even stand at work anymore. Last year I saw a doctor from Hospital for Special Surgery. I had surgery to repair a labral tear. A few months later I was still in agony. After many x-ray, CT scans, and MRI’s and seeing different doctor I was finally referred to Dr Sink at HSS. In June of this year I had to have a scope to re-repair my hip labral tear and the cartilage with Dr Sink. Then 4 weeks later on July 2nd I had PAO surgery with Dr Sink. The first week and half was very difficult and painful. The pain has started to subside now. I just went on Tuesday for my two week post-op follow up and they are pleased with my recovery. I am looking forward to my 6 week follow up and hopefully I can start putting weight on my left side and to be crutches free and start physical therapy.

  16. Julie Mendenhall says:

    Hi Shari,
    Thank you for sharing. My daughter Whitney is set to have a labral tear repair August 16th. We were supposed to have a PAO also, but I am just to scared to have her go through that right now. She is only 15 and it is such a major surgery. I am hoping the labral tear repair will help, but I am worried we are just delaying the inevitable? Did your first repair not work? I hope your recovery goes well, please let us know as we hope it is a good option for Whitney in the future?
    Thank you,

  17. Julie Mendenhall says:

    What hospital IS DR SINK AT?

  18. Elisa Maple says:

    My 13 year old daughter has just been diagnosed with hip dysplasia in her right hip. Her specialist has not recommended surgery and has said she will have an early onset of arthritis and probably need a hip replacement in her early 50’s. Not sure whether to ask about the PAO surgery or just let things ride for a while. She is in pain quite regularly and has missed a lot of school. She has also stopped dancing and sport so has put on weight. She’s been told walking, swimming and cycling are her only options to keep fit. Would really appreciate some advice from parents or teens on what I should do. We live in Sydney, Australia so any help we could get here would be great too.

  19. bernard says:

    well i had a total hip oeration at 18 and then my right hip just this year for dysplasia it was diagnosed late and had ruined my left hip . my right hip was also dysplastic just not as bad as the left so it took another 20 years before it failed . so i have to artificial hips and they are awesome .well done and all the best it sounds like you could beat this thing yet .

  20. bernard says:

    oh a hip \in young people are stronger and most likely ceramic on ceramic they are diffrent and far better than what they put in a 75 year old . ceramic hips do not wear out . for the future .

  21. Bridget wilding says:


    You have no idea how happy it makes me to read your story and see that you’ve had such a great outcome with the PAO surgery. I myself used to be a bodybuilder and about a year ago started to notice some pain in my right hip. After physical therapy, acupuncture, many different doctors, MRI’s and X-rays, finally someone has diagnosed me with hip dysphasia. I had a labral tear arthroscopic surgery this past January in 2013 and they found nothing. Finally I will be seeing Dr. Peters in Salt Lake City Utah to have a consultation and get a game plan together for the pao surgery. I have been living with this pain for 1.5 years now and have had to put my dream of joining the Air Force on hold as well as my job as a personal trainer. It has been one heck of a frustrating experience and I am so ready to finally be pain free. Living on pain medication is not how I want to live my life, especially at 23! I appreciate you sharing your story and can only hope to have the outcome that you have had!!

  22. Julie Mendenhall says:

    Bridget , my daughter Whitney also had a surgery for a torn labrum a month ago. They got in and found no tear. Now we are trying to decide about having a PAO for hip Dysplasia. A very scary thought with our 15 year old daughter!

  23. Bridget wilding says:


    I completely understand as I am facing the same scary possibility of a surgery, but for me the surgery is kind of a last resort. I have grown very cynical about doctors and don’t seem to be able to trust the fact that there is a cure for me, but I have not yet lost all hope. I am in excruciating pain on a daily basis and have a very hard time sleeping (as you can tell by the late hour of this post.) I will be seeing dr peters in Utah on October 23 to hopefully get some answers as to what he thinks, he is a specialist in the PAO surgery so I’m hopeful he can give me some answers. I will be sure to post about my findings. I’m wondering if I was more active in my teens if I would have faced this issue early because it seems as though activity and exercise make us more prone to this issue. It’s extremely frustrating, but don’t give up hope! If you or your daughter need to talk don’t hesitate to ask! My email is It’s really nice to be able to reach out to people suffering from similar issues! A little comforting!!

    :) Bridget

  24. Julie Mendenhall says:

    Thank you for sharing Bridget! Yes I think that sports plays a major role in early symptoms. As Whitney dr explained her hip is just not able to handle the load being placed on it due to the angle of the bones and hip socket coverage. I just worry about incurring further complications by doing a surgery. I would love her to be pain free, but no one cAn guarantee that. Please keep us posted on your progress! We wish you the best!

  25. Bernadette says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I had major hip problems while running cross country and track in high school. I had a 6 month period where I walked with a significant limp. I was never diagnosed with hip dysplasia but both of my daughters were diagnosed as newborns and treated with pavlik harnesses. All three of us had right hip worse than left. I’m 25 years old and pain free for now, but wondering if this is something I need to look into for myself. The one thing that is certain is that all of my children, nieces and nephews will have hip ultrasounds as newborns!

  26. Bridget Hedrick says:

    I just stumbled on this discussion and was eager to see if Julie posted after Whitney’s surgery for the labral tear. I was so hoping for good news as my 15 yr old, volleyball middle daughter has been diagnosed with a labral tear as well! She just stopped playing volleyball over constant fear of hurting herself further. Her hip pops in two places with nearly every step and hurts mostly after sitting. We are in process of scheduling surgery for over Christmas break. How long has she dealt w/ this? What diagnostics showed a labral tear? Did you do MRI with contrast or just MRI? Dr. hasn’t mentioned displasia so I’m going to ask him about that. Says she has impingement from extra bone. — Thank you, Bridget

  27. Julie Mendenhall says:

    Wow Bridget! That sounds just like Whitney! Do MRI with contrast as they did not do that with Whitney. They said she had a Labral tear and when they did the surgery she did not. Thought she might have an impingement also and shaved a bit of bone, explored her joint, and trimmed some inflammation. She still hurts 2 months after the arthroscopy. Tending to think a PAO might be in her future, but still worried about signing up for that. She also pops and has pain when sitting. Our daughters sound like the same story!

  28. Bridget Hedrick says:

    Thanks for the response Julie! I contacted the Dr. & he said she has no dysplasia. I wanted that possibility ruled out in light of the two posts here saying surgery found no labral tear! From what I understand the MRI w/ contrast is supposed to be very painful because contrast has to go directly in hip not just an arm IV. They feel comfortable that since they can see the tear on the MRI they don’t need to put her thru that. So that sounds like exactly what they will do for my daughter – fix tear, alleviate impingement, clean it up. Much to her dismay she stopped VBall 2 wks ago and isn’t complaining too much now. She would end up Saran-wrapped in ice after every practice & even during school. We’ll see…Surgery scheduled for Dec. – how was recovery/going to school for your daughter? Mine is very worried but will have holiday break to get a head start. Was she partial weight- bearing?

  29. Julie Mendenhall says:

    With Whitney they said they saw her tear on MRI but when they went in no tear. We had surgery August 6 and she is just now feeling better. Only on crutches for a week. School was hard with stairs and weight of books in backpack causes more load on hip. I am glad she does not have hip Dysplasia I hope it all goes well for her! Blessings Julie

  30. gina says:

    I am a 50 year old woman. I found out in my 30’s that I have hip displasia….the right hip is worse than the left. I have very little pain in the joint itself…it is the hip muscles (psoas, illiacus, piriformis etc) that give me pain. I had one renowned doctor offer the PAO surgery….. I asked him if it would help with the muscle pain I was feeling. He said he couldn’t say. So, why would he prescribe this surgery if it won’t help my muscle pain?
    Would getting a full hip replacement help with the pain? If my hip joint is the way it is and it is supposedly causing the muscle pain I feel, than rationally, it would help.
    This pain has gotten in the way of my work (I am a swim coach and am on a pool deck every day)….and now it is affecting every part of my life. Getting up to walk to the bathroom is a chore.
    Do I seek medical attention once again only to be told the same thing?
    I have started doing some exercises to help strengthen and stretch the hip muscles…..For about 2 weeks, I started feeling much better (after 7 to 8 months of limping and pain)….then one day the pain in my lower back and front hip returned. It is very depressing.
    Does anyone have any advice for me?
    Thank you.

  31. says:

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed comments. It’s great to see community support and encouragement. Many of these comments are about pain and several different causes have been noted. With the miracles of today’s imaging methods, it is generally possible to diagnose abnormalities, damaged tissues or worn out joint surfaces. However, the source of pain doesn’t always correlate with the obvious findings on the images, so pain is sometimes elusive. For example, headaches and back aches are common, but the source of pain is often obscure. It is natural to assume that pain near a joint is coming from something that’s wrong inside the joint. That’s generally true, but sometimes an obvious abnormality is corrected surgically and the pain remains. When the cause of pain is in the muscle or in the surrounding tissues, physicians may be reluctant to say they know exactly what is causing the pain, or that pain will improve when the bones or joints are corrected. When in doubt, a second opinion is often a good idea. If you’ve been to a “hip preservation” surgeon, then maybe get an opinion from a surgeon who is more comfortable with total hip replacements to get a different point of view. Unfortunately, medicine is not a precise science like engineering so that’s why doctors often have different solutions to the same problem.

    Hip joint replacement is almost always the preferred treatment for hip dysplasia after the age of fifty years because there has been enough wear and tear that re-alignment surgery for hip preservation is unlikely to be successful. Also total hip replacements have better results after age 50 than they do in younger people. Most pain around the joint, or in the joint, is relieved by total hip replacement. However, total hip replacement should be postponed as long as possible because sometimes pain improves for “no reason” and there are risks with any procedure. Also, total hips may wear out even though most remain good for decades. Total hip replacement is different from hip preservation surgery in younger people because hip preservation surgery needs to be done as soon as possible so the joint doesn’t deteriorate any further. Once you need a total hip, there’s no sense of urgency as long as you can try other things or tolerate the pain. So, after the age of 50 years, or when the hip is too far gone for hip preservation, then it’s best to wait as long as possible because total hip replacement is the last resort even though it’s one of the most successful operations ever developed.

    Charles T. Price, MD, FAAP
    Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
    University of Central Florida College of Medicine
    Director International Hip Dysplasia Institute
    Orlando, Florida

  32. Maddie says:

    January 2013 I was diagnosed with a torn labrum, Femoral Acetabular Impingement, and Arthritis in my left hip. I am only 16 years old and even after the labral repair I dont feel as though the pain has gotten much better. My family had to move from North Carolina to Texas this summer so I was forced to go to a new orthopedist. I actually met with this new doctor last week and he suggested that I may have hip dysplasia in my left hip after looking at my x-rays recently taken. The pain feels deep and intense and it does tend to give me a “catching” sensation. I play intense softball and have always dreamed of pitching at the collegiate level. I have an appointment to get an MRI arthrogram next week. Any suggestions of what this pain could be? I guess Im just being indenial after researching what the hip dysplasia surgery requires. Praying that the dysplasia is not what I have.

  33. Erika B. says:

    My name is Erika and on July 11, 2013 I had a PAO done on my left hip. I have been in the Army for a few years and suffered from a right femoral neck fracture and it was then they discovered the severity of my hip dysplasia in both hips. When I had my LPAO done, I also had a severely torn labrum but they did not fix it in surgery. My doctor said it would heal on its own. I spent 6 days in the hospital and after 6 weeks of being at home, I returned to teaching (on a walker of course and now I am using a cane). I have an 11 month old baby girl so the recovery has been very challenging. If I could give anyone advice about this surgery and the recovery, it would be to be patient. I am still doing physical therapy twice a week and there are some days that are better than others. I was a triathlete, ran track through college, was in the Army, and led a very active lifestyle so you have to keep the bigger picture in mind, you won’t see results right away. I had my doctors appt yesterday and I will be having my RPAO done in the next couple of months. I’m hoping the second time is easier than the first! Does anyone have any experience with having both hips done less than a year apart?

  34. 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”.

  35. Chrissy says:

    I enjoyed reading this, I have been dealing with this issue for 9 years pretty severe in both hips. Also an athlete growing up and also a pitcher since I was able to throw a ball. Im 25 and scheduled to have this done in Feb for the first hip. I will have to have both done within the next year and Im VERY nervous but reading this and other posts makes me excited to not have pain anymore. After years of pain and issues and countless docs who “weren’t comfortable” helping or didn’t know what was wrong, I cant wait to be done with this process!

  36. amanda says:

    Hi shelby, I was wondering what Doctor did your surgery. I would love to be able to run again and feel lost at picking the right surgeon.
    thank you

  37. Debra says:

    My 14 year old sports hero of a daughter has just been diagnosed after 4 years of immense pain and frustration and has been told she needs surgery too. Your story has given us hope that one day she may be able to play the sports she loves pain free x

  38. lynn floyd says:

    my 14 year daughter was born with hip dyspasia after 12 ops later she needs a hip replacement but have been told they may only last 10 years and after 3 what next

  39. TimS. says:

    Hi all, my daughter age 14 started experience slight deep pain in her right hip about 9 months ago at age 13 – I took her to the doctor at the time and they just did a xray and nothing was seen as being wrong on the x ray. The doctor told it was most likely growing pains. Recently the right hip pain – deep in the hip – has come back – she is a lacrosse and basketball player. My question is – is an MRI better than a regular an X ray ? Would an MRI be able to tell if she has this hip dyspasia or not ? Appreciate anyone’s response. Tim

  40. lisa says:

    Has anyone had nerve complications post surgery on outer part of leg,
    And any of the Screws removed????

  41. Alyssa says:

    Hi all! I saw the comments earlier about PAO and Torn labrum…Well, I am 17 and on September 22nd I am having both the hip dysplasia and torn labrum in my right hip fixed, they’re doing both at the same time. Hopefully it all goes well. Kind of a bummer though because I was expected to go to state in Cross Country and Track this year but won’t get to run now because of my hips. Sadly I’ll be spending most my senior year home bound or in the hospital for these surgeries (I have to have it done on both hips). Also, TimS, an X-ray is key for pointing out hip dysplasia as it shows the ball and socket bone view and you can see if the ball goes all the way in/is covered entirely. The MRI focuses on tissue and shows whether there is a Labral tear or not.

  42. Tina says:

    I have read everyones stories, before and after my daughters surgery. The sharing of everyones experiences, from the patients and their families , good and bad, was very interesting to me. I know everyones experiences are different, but also similar in many ways.

    I would like to share the story of my daughter Alex. Alex is 16 years old and was diagnosed with hip dysplasia last August. During her freshman and sophomore years in high school she did a lot of running in PE. She complained of hip pain but my husband and I thought it was from growing pain and the amount of running she was doing. After she continued to complain I told her to see a doctor.. I was surprised when she was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia, severe on the right and moderate on the left. She also had a large labral tear on the right hip.

    We were referred to Orthopedics and I thought a simple arthroscopic surgery to fix the tear would be all she needed. That was not the case. She was sent to an Orthopedist that specializes in PAO surgery. This is not a surgery that is performed by just any Orthopedist. We were seen by a specialist in West LA. He assured us fixing the labral tear would only be temporary solution. She would be back to her current pain level within one year. She needed to have the PAO surgery or she would need to have a hip replacement surgery by 30-35 years old adn she would out live the prosthesis.

    She was having so much pain with any prolonged walking and was now at a point that any running caused her severe pain. We set her up to have surgery during her summer break. She had her surgery for PAO on 6/27/2016. Dr did not fix the labral tear and was told it should heal on its own over the next year since it would no longer be hitting against the femural head and the hip socket. She was in surgery 3.5 hours. She did not have as much pain after the surgery as she and us had expected. She did have bad reaction to anesthesia and the anti nausea meds after surgery. PT came in the following day and started her with walking with walker and over the following 2 days she spent in the hospital therapist had her with the walker and instruction on the stairs.

    3 days after surgery she was released to return home. Since her pain pain level was not too bad, she needed a low dose of pain medication that she used only at night at bedtime when she was sent home. Also, ice pack was a great help for the first 2-3 weeks after surgery. She developed a severe burning sensation from the hip to the knee. The ice pack was the life saver with the burning. She said the pain medication would not touch that pain. That was the most painful part of the surgery. This lasted for about 2-3 weeks after the surgery and has gradually decreased.

    At 2 weeks after her surgery she was cleared to use the stationary bike. Last week at 6 weeks postop an X-rays was taken and she is given the green light to progress to full weight bearing over the next 2 weeks. She is doing great. Her Dr asked her about her pain since surgery. she told him the pain is different now. Already at 6 weeks post she knows the surgery was a success. She will start formal PT next week.

    I believe we made the right decision to have the PAO surgery despite our concerns with having our young active daughter under go such a major surgery. Her Dr will see her back at 3 months postop and at that time he predicts her hip will be completely healed. She will also see him again at 6 months and one year postop. We will plan to have the left hip done in 2 years when she graduates for high school unless her pain level gets too bad that she is unable to wait until then.

    I know this is a big decision for anyone to take on but if Alex’s story can help in anyway I’m glad to share her story.

  43. Lisa says:


    Thank you for sharing your story! I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and torn labrums bilaterally in 2014 at 27 years old. I was sent to Boston to consult with a children’s hip specialist. His thoughts were for me to attempt the labral tear repairs and if they fail, consider a PAO. I have now had 2 hip arthroscopies on BOTH hips (4 surgeries total) and am under the understanding that if they tear again, my only options will be replacement vs. PAO. I’m currently 29 and have a 6 year old and am super nervous about missing out on so much of her life being confined in a hospital so far away.

    My question for you is, do you still have any pain at all? Are you comfortable when you sleep? Despite my repairs I’m still uncomfortable all the time. Sitting, sleeping, standing for too long, climbing stairs. If I knew by having this procedure I wouldn’t be uncomfortable anymore then I would greatly consider it! Also, do you have any restrictions or can you do whatever you want to do? I’m a runner. And I would give anything to be able to get back to running!

    Thanks so much!

    Lisa (thehopefulrunner)

  44. Francesca says:

    Hi Shelbi thanks for sharing your experience it gives lots of hope :-) I write you for a very heartful reason for me, I am a professional dancer and my sister, 21 years old is on her way to it as well! After 1 year of pain and doctors she found out to have a hip dysplasia and all the doctors are telling her to stop dancing, which is killing her and me cause I know how painful can be to say to a dancer to don’t dance anymore. And I die seeing her so saad and down and try to motivate her. And this story of yours I shared with her to show her that it must exist for her a chance a solution to wake up in the morning and still be able to do what we love the most, dancing. Your experience maybe gave her some hope and I was wondering if It is possible to have your email or fb name so that she can get in contact with you :-) it would be really helpful
    hope to hearing soon from you,
    Thanks again

  45. Francesca says:
    This is my email address :-)

  46. Tina says:

    I have an update only daughter, Alex’s, story. She is now months postop. For the most part she is pain free. She is back to school, she is still attending therapy, mainly to increase her hip motion. She did have a small set back last week after she and I did a 5K run/walk. She did run a little to start with but was able to complete the walk with some soreness that lasted about 3 days after the walk. She still did not feel like she needed to take pain medication.

    She was concerned so her MD suggested follow up X-rays and everything looked just fine. Her MD advised her to just takeout easy and she should start feeling better. He was right. She is doing better now.

    She has a goal to join the track team this Feb. If everything continues to proceed as it has been, then Im sure she will be able to run without any difficulty. We are just hoping her left hip does not begin to give her pain and slow her down.

    Thanks Tina

  47. Suzanne says:

    My daughter is 16, almost 17 and was diagnosed with bilateral labral tears and bilateral hip dysplasia recently. We have received our second opinion and both top hip orthopedic specialists say that she needs a PAO or we will be looking at hip replacement by 30. She’s a soccer goalie and will now be unable to continue is sport as she hurts from just walking. I’ve been researching as much as possible and although we were referred to this surgery and given two different names of qualified surgeons, we are on our own for setting up appointments. Is this normal? I feel a bit lost and each office is different in the hoops you must go through to just get a consult. Also, I just want the best surgeon available in this field. It’s all very frightening. This is the most recent posts I’ve found so far and it gives me hope. Most sites are posts from the early 2000’s like 2007 or 2003. I’m sure the procedure has changed.

  48. Tina says:

    I know your concerns I was as well very concerned. This surgery is a very specialized surgery and should not be done by just any Orthopedist. I was very lucky when making my decision due to the fact I work for Orthopedic surgeons. The Ortho’s that I work for helped me to choose an Ortho that was well known. None of the Orthos in our group did this surgery, but they helped to guide me to seek out an Ortho who was well educated and had a history of good success with the PAO. I also of course did my research on the surgeon and had my list of questions when we met him.

    Im not sure what part of the country you live in. I am in Southern California and only had 3 surgeons in so Calif that did the PAO surgery, 2 in LA and one at Loma Linda Univ. Due to ins reasons we chose one of the LA surgeons.

    This is a big decision and doing research on your surgeon will help to ease your mind going into it.

    Good luck, I hope all goes well for your daughter.

  49. MyKala says:

    I am 13, and was recently diagnosed with hip displasia. I also have polyarticular idiopathic/rhumetoid Arthritis(born with). I asked my doctor and he said nothing could be done to fix it, yet reading your story tells me otherwise. I don’t have pain, just limited movement, ranging from not being able to squat, and walking/running like a duck. (I am not kidding about that!) I hate to run because at my last school I was bullied about my run. That left me hiding in the bathroom everytime I had P.E. Sorry, it sound like I am rambling. I am just so curious. How do you do it?!

  50. Andrew Slominski says:

    My name is Andrew Slominski and i go to Lakeridge High School and i was assigned a Hip Dysplasia project. I would like to ask you a few more questions on your condition. You can contact me through email at or over the phone at (262)-365-1029. Thank you!

  51. Sean says:

    Shelby my son 2 days ago was diagnosed with hip displasia in both hips from xrays by an orthopedic doctor he seemed concerned and convinced he would need surgery . He is A very active basketball ball player in High school and AAU and many colleges are looking at him now. He is 16 years old and we noticed he kept saying his hip seemed to pop out so he would move his leg in a way while playing to put it back. He says it doesn’t hurt but waiting to go to the head surgeon in BOSTON
    My thoughts were get thru his last year in HS without the Surgery and see what happens . I’m afraid if he gets surgery no college will even look at him as he would be not attractive. Your thoughts?

  52. Genesis Gonzales says:

    Hi Shelby,

    I was just recently diagnosed with Hip dysplasia at 23 because I’ve have had Cerebral Palsy though all my life I wanna know are you still able to bend on your knees or not ? if I have the surgery and if I come out it will I still be able to bend and can I still become a Veterinarian for all animals ?


    P.s. here’s my email so you can reply back

    Thank you

Leave a Reply

  • Call to Action Buttons

  • Email Sign Up

    Email Sign Up
  • Social Media Links

  • Translate Link

    Para ver en Español Click Aquí

  • SubNav Menu

  • Latest News

    Latest News

    Submit a Story

    Benefits of the spread-squat position for baby car...

    Sep 21

    The following statement has been approved by the Executive Committee ...

    Third International NYU Langone Hip Dysplasia Symp...

    Sep 10

    Go To NYU Langone Health's Symposium page here to read more. Virtu...

    How To Survive A PAO

    Aug 20

    By Community Member & Advocate MJ Sharp I've put...

  • Latest Stories

    Latest Stories

    Submit a Story


    Jun 07

    Hey everyone! My name is Hannah and I am 17 years old. I am currently ...

    Sarah Rowlands

    Apr 30

    Hello all So i thought i'd like to share a shortened down version of ...


    Apr 02

    Hello everyone, my name is Chelsey. Growing up I played travel softbal...