PAO for hip dysplasia in a young adult female avid runner

I’ve been a runner my entire life, but when my hip started to hurt during my senior season of high school track, I knew something wasn’t right. I had always been pretty stoic…trying to run through little aches and pains, but there was something nagging about this pain that left me limping through races and grimacing through class.

I thought a summer of easy running was the cure for what my school’s trainer said was a strained hip flexor, but the pain was back in full force when I started running for my college team the next fall. By the end of the season, I was limping around campus and couldn’t even sit in class without an intense ache shooting through my hip.

Two MRIs, an x-ray, a few orthopedic appointments later, and everyone was convinced my problems were due to some weak core muscles. I was thrilled—I thought this was finally the answer to all of my problems. But when the pain continued and progressed through the following year despite aggressive PT, I had no choice but to give up my scholarship and leave the team.

I continued to work at a local running store, trying to run occasionally with friends, but it wasn’t long before my hip would ache simply standing at work. It was a breaking point.
I started on another quest for answers, but no one seemed to be able to offer a confident explanation. With a bit of luck and a recommendation from a running friend, I scheduled an appointment in St. Louis with Dr. Clohisy. Within fifteen minutes of meeting him, I had a diagnosis, a plan, and hope.

In June 2010, Dr. Clohisy performed a periacetabular osteotomy on my right hip. The procedure was complication free and surprisingly short. Three days later I was at home. I was on crutches one month later. By seven weeks post-op, I was fully weight bearing and amazed to feel that the nagging, achy pain in my hip was completely gone.
With the help of some great physical therapists, I was able to ride a stationary bike at two months post op. I celebrated my three month anniversary with a 10-mile bike ride on the roads and a three mile hike.

After living in pain for more than six years, I couldn’t believe I was feeling great and near my normal activity level at just six months post-op. The stability of my hip has given me a level of comfort I hadn’t experienced since I was 17— no more shooting pains, popping, catching, and aches!

To celebrate my nine month anniversary, I went for my first run since surgery. I might not be breaking any records for a while, but I’m right where I want to be for now — healthy, happy, and running free.