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This, too, shall pass

My freak out moment is over, thank god. I really struggled for a few days. As it is, I'm not good at making decisions; one this big really stressed me out. I'm not sure how it happened, but at one point in my near hysteria, I felt a wave of calm and knew I was ready for surgery.

And thank god for the online support group (even though it sparked my fear to begin with). Hip sister Wendy wrote in with the wisest of words: I needed to make my decision based on what I wanted, not what I feared.

I want to walk down the street without thinking about my hips. I want to stand tall and not have to hide my limp. I want to take a walk with friends without worrying if I'll be able to go the distance. I want my life back.

I know I won't question the surgery again. I'm lucky for the chance to fix what genetics messed up!

Thanks to those of you who offered unbiased advice and a kind word. My gratitude to my mom and sister is endless; I couldn't do this without them!


Does this mean you area go for PAO? I am almost 6 weeks out and have not regretted it! I too doubted my decision the morning of surgery - but it passed. Then again while laying in the hospital bed -sick from all the pain meds. But now - I am CONFIDENT I made the right decision!

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Questions for surgeon pre-op

Below is my list of questions to ask Dr. Mayo pre-op.

About pre-op care and my dysplasia How many degrees is my dysplasia?How’s the other hip? When will I need surgery on it?What are my chances for a successful surgery?Should I be following any special diet or medication restrictions?
About the surgery
How long is the surgery?Will you be doing the entire surgery or do other surgeons help?Chances of finding FAI or tears in labrum? Then what?Worst-case scenario while in surgery? Any chance of THR or no PAO?Will I be intubated?Do you do a bone graft?Where will scar be?What kind of stitching?When will the catheter go in?What are the screws made of?Will I lose much blood during surgery? Should I donate my own blood prior to surgery? If so, will I get that blood back? About post-op care
What can I expect during my hospital stay? How long will I be in the hospital?How will my pain be managed in the hospital and at home? Will I get an epidural? When will it go in? What items do I need at home to he…

4 months post-op/scar pic

If there's one blanket statement I could make about having a periacetabular osteotomy, I would say this:

It's a long recovery.

When friends, family, co-workers and strangers have comments or questions about the surgery, it's usually something like: "That sounds awful!" or "Was it really painful?" or "Scary."

Truth is, while it was awful, painful and scary at times, this whole time, it simply has been long. At four months post-op, I still feel remnants of surgery in my hip. I still can't lie on my op side for longer than an hour or two without discomfort, and I still have to help my leg in and out of the car on occasion. My hip is still tender to the touch, and of course, that tailbone ...

Don't get me wrong. I have SO much to celebrate, and I can't imagine myself happier with my left hip. I have recovered smoothly and quickly. I'm not asking for anything more. That being said, I have made the following progress in the past two …

3 years post-op LPAO

A surgery can change your body. Two surgeries can change everything.

Today, on the third anniversary of my LPAO, I inevitably think back to my first operation and the years leading up to that day.

Everything has changed.

I am an outdoors enthusiast and exercise nut. I can stay on my feet all day. My new body has freed my soul, and my heart responds in kind.

The breakdown is exactly the same as it was at two years post-op: zero pain with a couple of exceptions, great range of motion, same tingly patch and itching. The one difference is that my tailbone pain has waned considerably, which gives me much, much relief.

I'm a different person today than I was on April 23, 2008, and I'll be forever thankful.