Hip dysplasia was a diagnosis that threatened many aspects of my life. As the sensation of instability progressed and deep, dull aches radiated down my leg, I found myself second guessing my physically-active career as a pediatric physical therapist, rationing house and yard work, struggling to concentrate during my post-graduate studies, dreading any travel or social activities that necessitated prolonged sitting, and sacrificing my passion for ultra-distance running.
I talked to several orthopedic surgeons I knew, and all of them pointed me in the direction of Dr. Sink and Dr. Kelly at HSS; “With a diagnosis like this and your desired level of function,” they told me, “these are the guys you need to be talking to.”
Dr. Sink and Dr. Kelly listened to my concerns and goals for surgery. They were realistic in discussing the magnitude of this surgery and that I might not get back to the high level of athletic activity that enjoyed previously, but they recognized the impact my symptoms were having on all aspects of my life and were willing to operate. Equally important to me, with an emphasis on time, patience, and commitment to rehabilitation, they were also willing to support me in my attempts to return to all of my pre-operative activities.
I underwent a right hip arthroscopy and periacetabular osteotomy with Dr. Sink and Dr. Kelly in the winter of 2015, and had the same combined procedures performed on the left in the fall of 2016. My surgeries and recoveries have gone relatively smoothly, and I have a sense of strength and stability in my hips that was never there before. I celebrate each day as I vacuum my house, put away laundry, pull weeds, keep up with my pediatric patients at work, and sit through lectures and car commutes without the intense aches, frustrations, and apprehension I had before surgery.
I recently returned to the trails for my first post-operative 50-kilometer mountain race and the exhilaration was unrivaled. Someone told me after the race that I must be very proud of this accomplishment. But “pride” is not the right word. More so, my sentiments are profound appreciation and gratitude for my family and friends who supported me throughout my diagnosis, surgeries, and recoveries, for my physical therapists who ensured that my body was prepared to handle the home, work, and athletic activities I strove to return to, and especially for Dr. Sink and Dr. Kelly and their clinical and support staffs at HSS who all made it possible to get to this point.
With regards to all aspects of my life, I can truly say, without reservation, that I am fully "back in the game!"