Marisol’s Story

Hip dysplasia was something I had never heard before my traumatologist mentioned it when he was looking at the X-ray of my hips and added that I needed a total hip replacement (THR).

I was completely in shock when I heard those words: total hip replacement surgery. I could not understand why I suddenly needed a surgery that only older people needed. That was end of March 2018, which meant that I had been treated based on a wrong diagnosis during at least 3 years. I was 53 years old, but I could hardly walk and was on sick leave since beginning February due to a lower back pain that had restricted all my movements and had me in constant pain.

My adventure started with some pain on my right hip, which would be always treated taking some anti-inflammatory medication and physiotherapy. As time passed by, the pain I felt grew stronger and I stopped doing some sports like paddle tennis, aqua-gym, cycling and later on, even walking was difficult for me. I went to different traumatologists and it was all more or less the same: an inflammation in a part of the hip area: bursa, trochanter, etc. For me it was clear there was something wrong, but what?

On the 4th of February I could not get up from bed due to lower back pain and sciatic pain on my right leg, thus, doctors were focused on treating my back. I suffered from so much pain that I even tried Chinese medicine and I had acupuncture. After one month I thought it could be related to my hip problem, so I managed to convince doctors to check my hips too. RMIs indicated I had hip osteoarthritis, but I had no X-Ray done until I visited again my traumatologist who had been treating my hip for 2 years. When I went back for the results, it was the 20th of March, almost 2 months later, and that day I learned that I had hip dysplasia on both hips and needed a new right hip: a total hip replacement (THR). The doctor told me that I was born with hip dysplasia and that it was the reason why I ended up having osteoarthritis on my right hip. Another consequence of that lack of stability in my hip, was the lower back pain.

That day driving back home, I kept thinking on what exactly hip dysplasia was and the hip surgery. Suddenly I had the answer to all those years suffering from pain, but also so many new questions. I checked with some other doctors the diagnosis of my hip dysplasia and their opinion about the total hip replacement: 4 out of 5 recommended the THR of my right hip. Besides, I could not bear anymore living like that: no walking, no sports, no social reunions, …, no life and constant pain.

Once I had decided to have the THR and chosen a surgeon (recommended by a friend) in a specific hospital, I started my pre-operation preparations: diet, exercises and positive thinking. My personal trainer who had been helping me with rehab and who also thought doctors had wrongly diagnosed my hip problem, started an exercise program together after attending a seminar about Hip and Knee Prosthesis at the hospital where I would have the surgery. I also started taking care of my eating habits and little by little I started losing weight. Knowing what problem and limitation I had in my hip helped me practice again some sports like cycling, swimming or simply walking. My muscles and my brain were getting trained for the surgery, which would take place on the 17th of July.

My positive attitude towards the surgery made everything so easy for everybody and especially for me. On the day after my surgery the physiotherapists could hardly believe that I could do the rehab exercises without any problem and on the second day I was walking with just one crutch. What surprised me more after my surgery was that pain was gone. So many years with that constant pain and now it was gone. I was so happy that I could not understand why I had that surgery not done before.

During my recovery I began drawing to retake a past hobby. My happiness needed to be expressed somehow and I wanted to thank my surgeon for it. That is when I drew the blooming tree: my personal view of the symbol of Orthopedics and Traumatology; a tree, which trunk is a femur held by a hip prosthesis.

Now, after 2 years of the THR of my right hip, I am starting to have the same problem on my left hip. Thus, I had an appointment on the 9th of July with a colleague of my surgeon, because unfortunately my surgeon had passed away last March 2020 due to cancer (R.I.P.). Checking a new X-ray, the doctor confirmed me what I was expecting: there is more arthritis on my left hip, which is why I have more pain and my mobility is starting to get reduced.

While he was asking me when I wanted to go for surgery, my thoughts vanished away: Another surgery? Is there any other alternative? Another sick leave for months? While all those questions popped up, I stared vacantly until something attracted my attention. It was a frame hanged on the wall, which seemed familiar to me: my drawing of the blooming tree. That was the answer: I have to go for surgery to bloom again.

I left the hospital decided to go for the surgery, but do not yet have a date. In September, I have the next appointment and will agree on the date for my next THR.