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 , having already logged over 30,000 miles on my hips and completed more than 25 marathons and ultra marathons.
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 (PAO) in January, 2015 and a left hip arthroscopy and PAO in October, 2016, both with Dr. Sink and Dr. Kelly at HSS. Although I've missed out on several years of running and have experienced ups and downs of recovery, my hips feel good, and I am back on the trails, doing what I love! I don’t know the fate of my hips or just how many miles they have left in them, but each day on the trails is a gift, and I don’t take a single mile for granted.
For over a decade I had dreamed about attempting a 100-mile ultra-running race. In September 2018, with the support of an incredible crew and pace team (all individuals whose lives have been affected by hip dysplasia), I completed The Bear 100, an ultra-race that starts in Logan, Utah and runs to Fish Haven, Idaho! I used this race as an opportunity to raise awareness about hip dysplasia and to support the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI). The IHDI is an amazing organization focused on education, research, and innovation for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hip dysplasia in infants, children, and adults. With the outpouring of support from family and friends, my team and I exceeded our goal and raised over $5000 for the IHDI!
Over the years I have been beyond humbled and grateful for the support I have received from my friends, family, surgeons, physical therapists, and the hip preservation community. This event was no exception! The “Miles4Hips” initiative that was started through this ultra-run continues to grow, and I am partnering with the IHDI, patients, and medical providers to continue to raise hip dysplasia awareness, support the needs of patients with this diagnosis, and to support the efforts of the IHDI. Please visit our website to learn more about the original Miles4Hips ultra-running event and our current and future Miles4Hips initiatives. https://www.miles4hips.wordpress.com.
With regards to all aspects of my life, I can truly say, without reservation, that I am fully "Back in the Game!"