Chelsea’s Story

My name is Chelsea and I’m 27. I live in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. 

From a very young age, it was evident that something was not right with my joints.  My mother repeatedly took me to see professionals who diagnosed Hyper-Mobility and growing pains, and that I would outgrow it.  I couldn’t run well at all, couldn’t do forward rolls and would cry repeatedly.  At the age of 16, my pain intensified and I started to notice hip-specific symptoms such as clicking and snapping. I started to see professionals alone and again was told it was Hyper-Mobility and not to click my hips as this would make it worse, one Rheumatologist diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia and explained that at my age, I couldn’t have problems with my hips.

At age 22, I trusted my gut instinct, and asked to be referred to a new Rheumatologist.  This lovely doctor listened to me and referred me on to an Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, NHS.  There, I met Mr Politis and he took me seriously. I was quickly scheduled in for a CT scan, MRI scan, x-rays and bilateral steroid injections.  From there, I was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia- bilateral acetabular retroversion, along with bilateral femoral retroversion.  I had my right Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (Birmingham Interlocking Pelvic Osteotomy- BIPO) March 2018, and the metalwork removed February 2019.  I had my left TPO surgery September 2019 and the metalwork removed September 2020- during the COVID pandemic.  During this time, I also completed a Master’s Degree at a top UK university and completed this degree.  

In June 2020, I had my right hip re-scanned and it was discovered that I had a degenerative labrum.  I am due to have arthroscopy with labral repair/debridement and cam debridement in a few weeks.  In December 2020, I had my left hip re-scanned.  There, it was discovered that I also had a degenerative labrum, onset degeneration of the main cartilage, inflammation of the muscle and also a small amount of damage to the top of the femoral head. My left hip will be carefully monitored with future surgery planned.

The process has had its highs and lows but I’m so glad that someone listened to me and trusted me.  I’m so grateful for my amazing surgeon and NHS services providing all of this care completely free of charge and for discovering Smart Crutch which have been a game changer for me with Hyper-Mobility.