I’ve pretty much had issues with both my hips my whole life. I had my first hip surgery in 6th grade.
In 2010, I suffered a labral tear and continued to have problems with it ever since. I went to my local orthopaedic doctor for him to repair the torn labrum. In October 2017, I noticed my hip was acting up again, so I had another surgery to help repair the labral tear. I was in physical therapy for six weeks and I was still not feeling very good about my hip.
In March 2018, I tore my labrum again, so I had another surgery to repair it. I went through the same rehab process and still felt like I wasn't getting any relief. I finally told my surgeon is going to get a second opinion because at that point, I felt like nothing was working.
I went to another ortho surgeon in Mississippi and he said my labrum was shot. In January 2019 I had surgery to fully reconstruct my labrum. I went through therapy again and still didn’t have the results I wanted. Sensing my frustration, my surgeon then talked to me about Dr. Michael Ryan in Birmingham, Alabama and a surgical technique, Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO), that he performs. I decided to take my surgeon's advice and asked to be referred to Dr. Ryan.
During my initial appointment with Dr. Ryan, he diagnosed me with hip dysplasia, a condition I had likely had since childhood, or even birth. Dr. Ryan went on to explain hip dysplasia is a developmental abnormality of the hip socket that results in a shallow acetabulum.
I had been to so many doctors to get here and I finally had an answer to why nothing was solving the issues I kept having. Dr. Ryan went on to explain that during PAO surgery he cuts the bone around the acetabulum and repositions the hip socket. When this was first explained to me, it scared me. It just seemed way too out there for me; however, I was confident in his skill and expertise.
Dr. Ryan told me and my mom I was a candidate for the PAO procedure. Dr. Ryan recommended me to lose about 50 pounds beforehand to reduce surgery risks. At first, I was questioning how I was going to lose the weight with my hip problems, but Dr. Ryan encouraged me and gave me advice on how I could get there.
With grit and determination, I ended up losing 70 pounds while being partial weight bear and underwent the PAO procedure (on my right hip) in early September 2019. When I came back to my 2-week post-op with Dr. Ryan, he and his staff were amazed at the progress I had made.
I’m currently 7 weeks post-op and on crutches working back towards putting 100% weight on my right hip. My recovery from the PAO surgery has been so easy compared to the many past surgeries. After having 5 operations on my hip, for something to be working out this smoothly so far is very encouraging.
Dr. Ryan and his amazing staff, Kirby and Hannah, are so kind and they really treat me like more than just a number. I feel like they really care about me and my recovery. I’m a different person now because of Dr. Ryan’s procedure and the weight loss. There are things that I’m going to be able to do after that I wasn’t able to do before. I can’t wait to really live my life!