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Kristin Hornedo

Staten Island, NY

As a child, I experienced minor aches and pains. Doctors explained that I was experiencing something called "growing pains." Lower back pain and knee pain was how it started. I accepted what doctors told me and continued to live my life day by day and find ways to cope with the pain.

At age 16, I had my first hernia repair. As time went on, I became more active trying to lead a life of fitness, which in turn caused me to go through 3 more hernia repairs. Aside from this, the more active I became I experienced increased back, hip and knee pain. Certain exercises would cause discomfort and I took note of it. By the age of 27, I had gone through 6 surgeries in total, including two hand surgeries.

The pain I experienced caused sleepless nights, sitting became painful and difficult to withstand for more than one hour. Walking and standing also became difficult to do. My entire life was engulfed in this constant pain and discomfort and nothing could help.

All I wanted was a better quality of life without pain. I was given that chance when I met Dr. Ernest Sink. It was not until I was evaluated by Dr. Sink at age 28, that I would finally get answers. After extensive testing, I was diagnosed with a condition called hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hip socket doesn't fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone.

Most people with hip dysplasia are born with the condition. People with milder cases of hip dysplasia might not start experiencing symptoms until they are a teenager or young adult. In my case, my symptoms became more prominent in my young adult life. As I researched about this condition, I learned that this condition was more common that I thought it was.

Being diagnosed was a relief because I knew that it was a problem that could be fixed. I was happy to know that it wasn't just my imagination all of these years and that in fact there was something physically ailing me. It is difficult to go through life being told that you should "live in a bubble," because there is always something going on with your health. Over the years, I have learned to embrace the challenges caused by my ailments, which have molded me into the strong woman I am today.

In July 2016, I underwent a femoral osteotomy of my right hip. I knew that it would be a long road to recovery and I was ready. I am now almost two years post surgery and I can say that it was the best decision of my life! The pain and discomfort I felt for so many years in my right hip is gone and I am so grateful for Dr. Sink for making this possible.

I want to thank Ioonna Felix, who has been my physical therapist at Sports Rehabilitation for 2 years. Ioonna's expertise, charisma and devotion to her craft helped me get back on my feet. She always believed in me and gave me the confidence I needed to push through. She was confident that I would make it through this journey as many before me had.

I will be getting my left hip operated on in May 2017 due to the same condition, but I am fortunate to have such a wonderful team on my side! Dr. Sink believed in me that I would get through this and he gave me a chance at having a pain free life. I would have never thought I would see that day that I would be able to sit, stand, walk and do all of the things that we have to do to live a normal life; do it without pain. I look forward to another long journey to recovery after my left hip surgery. There is no other hospital I would rather be in than Hospital for Special Surgery. The care I have received all around has been phenomenal!