Conditions + Treatments
I have had hip problems for as long as I can remember. I'm a dancer, so pain and aches were normal and something I often ignored. But, at the beginning of my junior year of high school my left hip was really bothering me.
I live in Nashville and went to many doctors there, but nobody could tell me what was wrong. After months of pain and countless doctors appointments, I was told I had arthritis. This just did not seem right. I was 17 years old and all the tests and blood work the doctors took came back negative, but they still thought I had arthritis. My family and I were beyond frustrated and upset by this diagnosis, so we decided to find a different doctor and get a second opinion.
I made an appointment with Dr. Benton A. Emblom and drove to Birmingham. I was so nervous for my appointment, and even more nervous that I would be told I did in fact have arthritis and wouldn't be able to dance pain free ever again.
As soon as Dr. Emblom started examining my hip, he knew I had an impingement that may have torn my labrum. He immediately sent me to get an arthrogram to confirm these results. After I had my arthrogram, I headed back to Nashville and anxiously waited to hear the results. A few days later, Dr. Emblom called to inform me that I had an impingement, torn my labrum, and would need surgery to repair it.
A few days later, I was headed to Birmingham for my surgery. The surgery went very well, and I woke up with a large brace and crutches. I would be on crutches for about 2 weeks, one crutch for 2 more, and then just in my brace for another two weeks after that. I started physical therapy the day after my surgery in Birmingham. Dr. Emblom came and checked in on me, and then I began learning to walk on crutches.
Throughout my recovery, I came back to Birmingham several times for PT appointments and then eventually to be released. My nationals competition was coming up, and I was determined to be recovered in time to compete.
Because of Dr. Emblom and his amazing team, I recovered and was released a few weeks before my nationals competition and was able to compete. I won two national titles that year, something that had seemed almost impossible.
Unfortunately, a few weeks after my nationals competition, I found myself back in Birmingham due to pain in my other hip. Don't get me wrong, I love Dr. Emblom but I had never expected that I would find myself back in his office so soon. I was released for exactly 27 days before I found out that I had an impingement and had torn the labrum in my right hip now. I was devastated, and could not believe this was happening.
I got to compete two more times with my team before I was headed back to Birmingham for the surgery on my right hip. I unfortunately would not be recovered in time to compete at the Worlds competition with my team. The recovery for this surgery was much more challenging than the one for my other hip. My team ended up being awarded 3rd place in the world that year, and I was so upset that I wasn't able to compete with them. I felt hopeless and came so close to just quitting dance several times.
Luckily my family, friends, and Dr. Emblom and his team refused to let me give up. I had spent just about my entire junior year in physical therapy, on crutches, or in a brace. I had been dreaming of dancing in college since I was younger, and this was something that now seemed impossible. I mean…I had missed out on an entire year of dancing and didn't know if I would ever be able to dance the same again.
Dr. Emblom and his team were so supportive and helpful, and made sure I recovered well from both procedures. Because of this, I am now a freshman at the University of Memphis. I am on the Dance team at the university. This team has won 14 national titles and is considered one of the greatest dance teams in the country. This is something I thought was impossible just two years ago. I am so thankful to Dr. Emblom and Andrews Sports Medicine for making sure I was cared for and treated well. I would not be dancing still today without them!