At age 16, after suffering from random hip pain for about 2 years and experiencing snapping and clicking hips, I had X-Rays taken. After a visit to my mum’s orthopaedic surgeon, I was informed that I had hip dysplasia – 25% bilateral acetabular uncovering. This means that the balls of my hips are not being sufficiently covered by their sockets. At this point he was not too worried about it and told me to come back and see him if I was not finding any pain relief from physio and pilates after 12 months. [West, S., & Sutherland, D. (2011). A guide for adults with hip dysplasia.]
In the meantime, mum was having countless surgeries on her hips and had just received a total left hip replacement due to osteoarthritis from undiagnosed hip dysplasia and since this operation, has not found any relief from pain. Thanks for those great genes mum!!!
About 18 months later in June 2014, I had new X-Rays taken which showed that my cartilage had dramatically thinned. I was instructed to stop all sport (in particular my star career as an amateur mixed netballer) as well as, and more importantly, reconsider my studies in Nursing at university. The only thing I could do was swim.. and even then, I had to put a buoy between my legs.
I was sent for a dGemric MRI of cartilage mapping which positively showed good quality of cartilage but also labral tears in both my hips. The surgeon didn’t know what to do with me… If he were to leave the tears, they can become bigger into larger tears and create arthritis… but if you repair them via surgery, they will most likely just occur again because the mechanical cause, the hip dysplasia, is not being fixed.
Another key facet influencing his decision was my mum’s extensive medical history. Would he treat me individually or as my mum’s daughter.
He referred me to a hip specialist physio and organised a seminar in February 2015 at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Here, I was examined by a group of about 18 specialist surgeons who analysed my condition and gave me some advice.
Whilst the process has been annoying and overwhelming at times… I’ve also learnt some pretty cool stuff about myself. Like..
– One of my legs is longer than the other (i’m more evolved)
– I can snap my IT band over the greater trochanter for a party trick
– My right shoulder is about 3cm lower than my left.. this makes certain clothes hard to wear
– There is finally a reason why I could never swim breast stroke properly so take that year 4 swimming teacher!!!
– There is a name for my body shape – violin hips/hip dip!!! Seriously mind blown when I found this out. I legit look like a violin.
For the last 9 months I have been doing physio to strengthen me for surgery. It was decided at the seminar that I would have a left hip arthroscopy with labral tear repair, and at the same time have cortisone injected into my right hip.
Surgery in T minus 7 days