Shauna

I am a 37 year old woman with hip dysplasia, and I am currently waiting for an MRI to discover the extent of arthritis in my left hip, and if I am a good candidate for PAO. I remember the first time I had hip pain when I was 14 on a hike and I have had pain on and off ever since. My weight has yoyoed a fair amount throughout my life and my hip pain would get worse when I was heavier and ease off when ever I lost weight. I have generally been a fairly active person, but through most of my activities I would eventually hurt my hip or my back, sholder, or have neck pain and only now am I realising that a lot of my problems have stemmed from my hip. My hip pain started as a walking pain…every step, when my left leg bore my weight in certain positions my hip hurt. Also my hip would “pop” out of place. It would hurt more while out, and sometimes I could manage to pop it back and the pain would be less. It also sometimes feels like my femur is coming out of the socket. The location of my pain is super variable…the outside/front of my hip, groin, and muscles all around my hip sometimes hurt as well as the back side of the socket where most of my arthritis damage is.
In 2008 I was going to school and had gained some weight and for the first time my hip pain was so bad that I started searching for answers. My hip pain had become really bad even just sitting in class. I had no doctor at the time, and was unable to find one that would take new patients, so I ended up going to a clinic and getting a referal for physiotherapy. I was treated with IMS, physio, massage, and had myofascial release. I lost a lot of weight through yoga and riding my bike and my pain mostly went away. This was the first time I was told I had a functional scoliosis and an imbalance in the position of my hips coupled with a leg length discrepancy. Through all the treatments I was pretty much straightened out, though obviously the root of my problem was not yet discovered.
My pain returned in 2010 when I was in school again, and again I had no doctor. I couldn’t find one, so I went to a clinic, where I was told there was nothing wrong with me…it was all in my head. In 2011 I was treated with structural integration by a friend, but the 10 sessions were interrupted when I became pregnant. I gained a normal amount of weight, but my hip pain became significantly worse during pregnancy accompanied by severe symphysis pubis dysfunction. Although the SPD pain was resolved with the birth of my first child, my hip pain continued to worsen along with lower back, mid back, and neck pain. I saw another Physio who treated me for weak hip flexors. It helped for a short time only.
Meanwhile my dad found that his hip socket had completely disintegrated, and got a THR. I had found a doctor…finally…in the interim, and insisted I get some x-rays taken, thinking that now that I had a family history, maybe someone would finally take me seriously. I was told that I had bone spurs on my hips…the left worse than the right…osteoarthritis. I was told there was nothing to be done but wait until I could get a hip replacement. That I could take drugs for the pain, and I should lose weight. I worked through the pain and lost a bit of weight, then became pregnant again. The spd pain and hip pain became unbearable very quickly. I was no longer able to sleep on my left side at all. I asked for a referal to get more Physio or go see a chiropractor. I couldn’t find anyone who did IMS, so I opted for a chiropractor who did active release and came highly recommended. It helped quite a bit once he got my functional scholiosis and hip imbalance under control again, and he really got me through the pregnancy.
Three weeks before my due date I took a fall on some stairs and separated my symphysis pubis. I spent the rest of my pregnancy on bed rest using a walker to get around, and ended up having a c-section because of the separation. After six more weeks of bed rest, my spd pain was almost gone, but my hip was killing me. I saw a physio for my separated pelvis, and she treated my arthritis a bit as well. I took up swimming and went back to working on losing weight. When my sp was healed I stopped seeing physio as it was a bit too far away to go for long term care. I went back to Chiro and cross country skiing in the winter, and took up mountain biking in the spring, as they were “approved” activities. I found a physiotherapist who did IMS that was closer to me and started seeing her as well.
I tried a round of PIYO through beach body, but had a major relapse, and became very discouraged. I had lost 65 pounds, was stronger than ever, and in more pain than ever. I should note that following the 21 day fix meal planning was very helpful in getting my weight under control. I saw a yoga therapist and got a personalised exercise program together. I had been getting exercises from all my other health care professionals the whole time, but seeing a yoga therapist/kinesiologist was great for finding movements I should avoid, and muscles I should focus on strengthening.
My Physiotherapist just happened to be married to an orthopedic surgeon. She showed him my x-rays with my permission. He suspected my underlying problem may be hip dysplasia, and he said I should get more x-rays and a referal. I recently saw him, and he told me I have hip dysplasia in my left hip, and I may be a candidate for PAO surgery. Now I am waiting for an MRI. In retrospect I feel angry that it has taken this long to diagnose my problem. Now that I am gaining more knowledge about my condition I realize that I have been compensating for my bad hip for so long I can’t remember anything else. I also realize that the pain is ever present and I have gotten really good at ignoring it. I’m really hoping that I can get the PAO surgery…I would really love to be able to do more with my kids, and there are a lot of activities I have given up that I want to be able to do again…but only time and tests will tell. Waiting sucks!



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