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Elise Parker

Westmont, NJ
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My experience at HSS changed my life, forever. After two previous hip surgeries, years of persisting pain, and doctors unable to resolve the pain, I was more than a little discouraged. I had been unable to continue rowing for my high school, play golf with my family, or dance with my friends. I was not even able to walk through the hallways at school due to the pain. I was almost ready to live with the pain and limited life, but not quite. After the last surgery and round of PT and still having pain, I decided to look beyond my local physicians. Some research led me to Hospital for Special Surgery, Dr. Sink and The Center for Hip Preservation.

At my first appointment, after tests, scans and x-rays, I received the diagnosis that I had read so much about: hip dysplasia. From that point on, I had a couple of options that ultimately led to my first surgery at HSS. I had had 2 previous hip surgeries on that same hip, but nothing as involved as a PAO. The intensity of this surgery and the long recovery afterwards made me nervous. Dr. Sink and his team prepared me well for expectations during and after the surgery. I found comfort in the materials provided for me by HSS about the surgery. The potential for being pain-free and having the chance to be a kid again was more than enough motivation for me. The surgery itself was easy though, at least for me. All I had to do was lay there and let Dr. Sink and his team do their work. The worst part about any surgery, at least in my opinion, is when you first wake up because before that moment you have no scale for what the pain will be like. But with my surgeries at HSS, that first moment was better than I thought. With my own personalized pain team and the amazing care I received on the pediatric floor, everything was incomparable to my experiences at any other hospital.

As much as Dr. Sink could reassure me that this surgery should help, I had to experience it for myself. I still remember, nearly two years ago, when I took my first steps with my newly constructed right hip; my first pain-free steps in years. Success with my first PAO led to my second about a year later on my left hip, which was just as successful as the first. Today, I am able to run for as long as I want, jump higher than ever before, lift with my own strength as my only limitation, and continue with a carefree and pain-free life in all of my endeavors. I was even able to finally return to my favorite activities, rowing and golf. Currently, I am a college rower in the middle of training for my competitive season, with nothing to hold me back. I was able to compete at The Head of the Charles Regatta last Fall. I am finally in the places that I want to be today, and participating in the activities that I want.

Thanks to Dr. Sink, his team, and everyone at HSS, I am proud to say I am Back in the Game. From the friendly security guard that greeted my parents and I when we showed up at 5:30 before my first hip reconstruction, to the nurses who made my family and I comfortable while I was there and the physical therapists that remembered me from surgery to surgery. The OR team helped keep me calm before surgery by laughing at my standard surgery jokes, “I feel so fancy in this gown (the hospital gown) that you guys gave me and you’re wheeling me all around, I don’t have to do anything. It’s great!” Followed by the, “Wow and I even get my own chandelier,” when I was faced with the big bright light of the OR. Everyone I encountered at HSS played a large role in my successful recovery that has gotten me back in a boat.