Leah’s Story

Hello, I am 42 years old, and I lived my whole life with undiagnosed hip dysplasia up until I was 36 years old.

We knew something was weird with my lower body at birth because my feet turned in. I was brought to specialists as a newborn but somehow the dysplasia was still missed. They tried casts to straighten my feet, which did nothing. My parents took me and ran out the door when surgery was suggested. From then on, it was never talked about again. I was told it was just me and everyone was different.

By the age of 15, my knees bothered me. By 17, my lower back would get strained by the littlest of movements. I just thought the pain I felt was normal.

In my twenties, life got harder as I worked in manufacturing and did physical labor jobs. I went into the doctors and complained of pain in my neck, lower back, groin and knees. I was told I was too young and that it was depression.

Life moved on. As my mobility decreased, my weight increased. So did my pain.

By the time I reached 36 I couldn’t walk without help. They said I had fibromyalgia, and I disagreed because it was only my right side that hurt. Thankfully I had a herniated disk in my neck that was found, and I met a wonderful surgeon. He not only fixed my neck, but also did not give up searching for why I couldn’t walk.

Through testing, we eventually found the hip dysplasia. I ended up finding a wonderful team of doctors and surgeons. Unfortunately, at this point, I was too heavy for any type of surgical intervention. I decided at 41 to have the gastric sleeve done because losing weight without exercise was next to impossible for me. I lost 130 pounds. After this huge weight-loss, I was able to finally have my worse hip replaced.

I am 12 weeks post-op, and I am doing things I couldn’t do comfortably in my twenties. I am so grateful I did not give up, and I hope anyone who is reading my story doesn’t give up searching for answers and good doctors. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I still struggle some due to the dysplasia, but life is so much better with the new hip. I have included my before and after pictures.