“I wish that such a community had been around when I began my journey, but I am thankful that these patients, parents and advocates are able to support and learn from each other now. We are all in this together!”– Mary Strehl
Mary began experiencing hip pain at 20 years old and had no idea why. Unknown to her, as an infant she was placed in a Pavlik Harness, but her hip dysplasia was never fully corrected. As she began her journey to understanding her hip dysplasia, Mary was told by doctors that she would eventually need a hip replacement, but that nothing could be done in the meantime, therefore she should avoid any high impact activity.
Ten years later, Mary found a hip specialist who told her about the Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO) procedure, which could preserve the hip joint and possibly even prevent the need for a hip replacement. She traveled six hours to meet with her would-be surgeon – one surgeon out of a few – who perform the specialized surgery in the country. After recovering from her PAO, Mary began a Facebook group specifically for PAO patients so that others would know they are not alone in their journey. Not expecting much from it, she has watched her Facebook group grow into a supportive community for over 5,000 people!
As she learned more about hip dysplasia, Mary discovered the importance of early screening, especially if there is family history. When her son, Cannon, was born she fought to have him screened, and even took him directly to a pediatric hip specialist after the pediatrician said he did not need any further screening. Cannon was found to have Bilateral Hip Dysplasia at 5 months old, placing him in a hip abduction brace for several months. Mary and her son returned to this specialist every year for follow up x-rays until he was cleared. Although Mary was screened and was in a brace as an infant as well, the follow-ups and continued monitoring were missing from her equation, leaving her to wonder how her journey could have been different if she had received the proper follow-up care. As an advocate for hip dysplasia patients and families, her hope is that fewer adults will have undiagnosed hip dysplasia and need major corrective surgeries. She is grateful for those who share their stories and work to spread knowledge about this issue, such as the incredible work done by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute!
With your support, the IHDI can continue to:
• Raise Awareness
• Promote Prevention
• Improve Diagnosing
• Explore New Treatments for Hip Dysplasia
Will you help us make sure that hip dysplasia patients receive the resources they need to reduce the physical, social and economic burden of Hip Dysplasia?
International Hip Dysplasia Institute
3160 Southgate Commerce Blvd
Orlando, FL 32806