Hip Diagnosis

Well, I got a call this morning from my orthopedic surgeon in Dallas. He told me the results are in from the CT Scan…and I have hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia means that the hip joint is the wrong shape, or that the hip socket is not in the correct position to completely cover and support the femoral head. This causes increased force, and abnormal wear on the cartilage and labrum. He is referring me to see a hip dysplasia specialist, who only comes to UTSW once a month, for a consult regarding an osteotomy. Surgery to change the shape of the hip joint typically involves re-shaping the shallow hip socket (acetabulum) so it is in a better position to cover the ball of the hip joint (femoral head). Osteotomies may be performed on the hip socket side of the joint or on the ball side of the joint (upper thigh bone). Surgeries are on the hip socket side are called “acetabular osteotomies” or “pelvic osteotomies”.

Basically, this is a big deal and will require major surgery to correct. If I do nothing to fix it, the joint will continue to wear out, and I will end up having to have a total hip joint replacement if I do not have hip preservation surgery now.

This surgery involves cutting the pelvis around the hip joint and shifting it into a better position to support the stresses of walking. After the hip is re-positioned, it is held in place with screws until the bone heals. After the bone heals, the screws can be removed, but this is not usually necessary. After the operation, patients should not put full weight on their leg for up to three months, so crutches or walkers are often recommended along with a wheelchair for longer distances until the bone has healed in its new position.

When I hung up the phone, I immediately felt fear. Lots of fear. I just had my abdomen reconstructed, and now we are going to rebuild my hip joint? I then started saying “I trust you, God” and repeated this many times until I started to believe it. I am trying hard to stay calm. We don’t know what the specialist will say. I need to just do some research to learn more about this and wait until the consult. I don’t know when the consult will take place. I was told the office will call me later this week to schedule the appointment.

My symptoms do match up with hip dysplasia pain – anterior hip pain and pooping/clunking. I have had these issues for many years, and it is starting to get worse. I just don’t understand how this went undiagnosed for SO long. In PT school, I learned about hip dysplasia in babies and young children, not in adults. This is all such a shock. I never would have guessed this was the problem. I’ve had x-rays and an MRI read here in Amarillo that came back “normal.” I guess that just proves how important second and third opinions are and the skill of the radiologist reading your scan.

This may be the cause of the pelvic pain that I have been dealing with since adolescence. My pelvic pain specialist agreed that hip dysplasia is a “classic problem that can be associated with persistent pelvic pain in some cases.”

Still just shocked. This will take a while for me to process. As scary as all this is, it is nice to have a diagnosis…even if it possibly means more surgery. I am trying to stay calm and wait until we have more information. It’s a journey. I will do more research and decide what the best option is from here. Thank you for all the prayers and support. I pray this might be the answer to all my hip and pelvic pain issues.

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Health Update

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to provide you with an update.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  Here’s what has been going on…

I made it through my Whole30 Paleo challenge!  I decided to stick with what my functional doctor recommends and continue with a paleo lifestyle.  I noticed a big decrease in my brain fog symptoms during the Whole30, but am still dealing with terrible fatigue.  It is a big challenge for me to get up in the morning.  I still feel very tired during the day.  People talk about getting “Tiger Blood” on the Whole30, where they experience lots of energy, but that didn’t happen for me, and now we know why…

My functional medicine doctor in Dallas ordered a stool test, and it came back positive for Enterobacter, an opportunistic bacteria, as well as Blastocystis, a parasite.  I did some research, and both the bacteria and parasite cause fatigue…bingo!  We also found out that I do not have much good bacteria in my gut, which is why the bad guys (bacteria/parasite) are winning…for now.  I am so glad my doctor ordered this test!  I cannot believe that no one else has thought to do a stool test.  70-80% of your immunity comes from your gut, and right now, mine is compromised.  She also believes that I have damaged mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cells), which explains a lot of other symptoms that I have.  She has started me on supplements to kill off the bacteria/parasite, and to support and heal my mitochondira.  I am also taking a ton of probiotics to repopulate my good gut bacteria.  I will also start a bioidentical Progesterone cream, since my hormones were out of balance, which I hope will help prevent all the painful ovarian cysts that I have been having.  I will also be getting Vitamin B12 shots, and she is having it compounded by a local pharmacy, so I can give them to myself.  She wants me to continue the Paleo diet, and limit fruit to only a small amount of green apples and berries.

 It is kind of gross to think that I have a parasite living in me.  Yuck!  My chiropractor thinks I may have gotten it when I went to Europe in high school…that was over 12 years ago!  Who knows for sure how and when I got this stuff.  The Enterobacter is common from hospital stays and causes frequent UTIs – another issue I have been dealing with.  I am praying as we starve off and kill this stuff, that my health will continue to improve and that I will feel better and get to experience that tiger blood soon!

A few months ago, I noticed a small mass appear under my right ribcage.  It doesn’t hurt when you palpate it, and it shows up when I do my strengthening exercises for my abdominal muscles.  Maybe it’s a muscle?  Not sure.  I don’t think it is another desmoid tumor, but at this point, it is better to be safe than sorry (my desmoid tumor was in my left abdominal wall).  I am monitoring it, and I contacted MD Anderson Cancer Center today and sent a message to my nurse.  I am getting an MRI of my abdomen done in January to check for recurrence after the complex abdominal wall reconstruction.  I just asked that the lower ribs be covered on the scan as well.  It will make me feel better.

It still amazes me how much sneezing hurts along that abdominal repair.  It scares me a little bit, because it almost feels like I am ripping from the inside, and I definitely don’t want another hernia.  When this happens, I remind myself, it won’t be like this forever.  🙂  Someday, this will not hurt.

I recently heard on a podcast that pain is a reminder to be kind to your body…that is so true.  So, I’m just taking things one day at a time and trying to be extra kind to my body while it is healing.  It will take time.  This is all a lesson in patience.  That’s about it for now.  Enjoy the holiday season!  🙂