Patient Stories

Life with Hip Dysplasia

Hello, my name is Stella. I’ve had a very long journey up until this point and I still have a long way to go, i’m just glad I’ve made it this far. 

When I was around 11-12 years old, I started having issues with my hip such as snapping and cracking in my hip joint with every step. I used to play tennis and run for fun, but soon it became harder and harder. I was taken to an orthopedic doctor and diagnosed with Snapping Hip Syndrome. I was sent to physical therapy along with anti-inflammatory medication and it only seemed to make the pain worse, so I ended up stopping treatment. Over the years the pain was incessant, but I tolerated it because every doctor I went to told me, “It’s just growing pains.” After I went to college at 18, the pain was so severe I would tear up every time I had a decently long walk to class. In my head, it was still just growing pains and I thought I would just get turned away by doctors, so I endured the pain. 

Fast forward to when I was 20 years old, I was living with my now husband, and it was to the point where my hips would lock up and I would fall to the ground. My husband gave me the courage to go to an orthopedic doctor to get it checked out. After seeing the doctor, he ordered an MRI which revealed my labrum’s were torn. I will save you a longer story due to me being shuffled through several doctors after that until I met my surgeon. He was the first doctor to listen to me and actually do the work to find out the issue at hand. With CT, X-Ray, and Hip Mappings, he determined I had double Congenital Hip Dysplasia. The best course of action was to do double PAO (Peri Acetabular Osteotomy) surgery. My first surgery was on my left, which had significantly less coverage and was overall the worse leg. It was very painful but immediately worth it. After 8 months, I was able to walk without a cane and feel a lot better even though I was only halfway done. I had complications with my surgery, my incision developed necrosis in one spot due to moisture getting caught in the tape that was covering my incision. Once that was fixed, I developed Bursitis due to doing too much activity, too quickly once I was cleared from crutches to walking. 

I had my second PAO surgery on my right hip in early September, and I had not expected it to be worse, but I was very wrong in thinking that. I developed a rash and slight infection from the sutures because I am allergic. I did not know I was allergic, but upon inspecting underneath the bandages and tape, I had a very large rash with hives and inflammation. I am currently getting that fixed, thank god. 

I know I have a long way to go, and I also know that it will be very rewarding to be able to run and do the things I love that I have not been able to do in years. A lot of times through this process I have wanted to give up, just to escape the pain. My support network, especially my amazing husband, made me realize that I just have to keep going because there is a light at the end of this dreary tunnel. I’m very glad I listened to them.