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Danielle Bogachunas

Stony Brook, NY

I have been dancing since I was 3 years old. When I was in junior high, I stopped playing soccer and gymnastics so I could concentrate on dancing. It was the only thing I wanted to do. I made a competition dance team, and started dancing 5–6 days a week. The more I danced, the more I would feel a dull pain in both my hips, but more in the left hip. I had so many injuries from dancing that I learned to ignore the hip pain for a few years. In the spring of 2015, the pain in my left hip was daily, and much stronger than in previous years. While at a dance competition, I tore a muscle and had an MRI. The results showed the torn muscle, and to my surprise, hip dysplasia in both hips.

Even though I knew I had a serious problem, I was relieved to have an answer for my pain. We followed up with a local orthopedist, who immediately referred us to Dr. Buly at Hospital for Special Surgery.

We of course researched Dr. Buly and learned he was the best. When we met at our initial consult, Dr. Buly was knowledgeable and thorough. He was also kind and caring as the tears rolled down my face when he told me I needed surgery. I was about to enter my senior year of high school and I thought my life was over. I was so depressed. I felt I would never dance again.

I had hip surgery on August 13, 2015. A Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO) was performed as well as having an impingement corrected. It went flawlessly. The only problem I had was an intolerance to pain medication, which made the first week difficult. However, “Team Buly” helped me every step of the way. There was always someone checking on me (Thank you Elaine, Branden, and all the great nurses), and working on the pain levels. When I got home I immediately started physical therapy. I did everything they told me to do. To my surprise, I was walking without crutches in a little over six weeks. I continued to go to physical therapy, and by the 3rd month post op, I began to take dance classes again. By the 5th month, I was back on the team, getting ready for our competition season. While I’m still working on getting my left leg to kick as high as it used to, I can actually do dance turns better than before the surgery.

I don’t know how to thank Dr. Buly, and Dr. Helfet, who performed my surgery. I feel like a new person. My parents also said that Dr. Buly and his staff, including Branden and Elaine, made them feel like family. They said they felt very “cared for” and that they were treated very well. They also said that every question or concern they had was immediately addressed. We all feel very lucky to have found Dr. Buly and Hospital for Special Surgery. In the future, I am going to need surgery to correct the dysplasia in my other hip. I am not afraid to have this done. I have found the best doctor, staff, and hospital in the world. I have included a video which was taken 4 1/2 months post op.