After years of right groin pain which was worsening in frequency and severity since my second pregnancy, I was seen by my local orthopedist and diagnosed with a tear of the right labrum. Upon referral to a hip specialist for surgical consultation and subsequent review of hip/pelvic x-rays, a diagnosis of bilateral acetabular dysplasia was made. It was recommended that I immediately consult with Dr. David Feldman for his expert opinion on my candidacy for a periacetabular osteotomy (PAO). Dr. Feldman determined that, even at age thirty-nine, I was a candidate for the procedure which was subsequently scheduled. In the interim, he recommended that I receive a localized steroid injection which resulted in a short duration of decreased pain the right groin while I prepared for the PAO.
My journey first began with a laparoscopic repair of the torn labrum. Although I was on crutches, I recovered quickly and comfortably. Three weeks later, the RPAO was performed. I was admitted to the hospital for six days. As a nurse myself, the patient experience was difficult for me. Dr. Feldman and his team ensured that my post-operative pain was controlled. I began minimal physical therapy in the hospital to ensure that I was safe to manage stairs on crutches and perform my activities of daily living prior to being discharged. I rented a hospital bed at home for four weeks which I highly recommend. At that point, I returned to work in a wheelchair. I was able to ambulate with a walker and crutches at that time, but was struggling to manage fatigue and discomfort once I was weaned off all pain medication. By eight weeks, I was off crutches and by twelve weeks I could drive. At four months I was able to return to my clinical work seeing patients. I had some difficulty with building back my strength and flexibility, likely due to my age, so Dr. Feldman suggested a course of physical therapy which was helpful.
It has now been six months since my RPAO. I have just scheduled my screw removal, the last stop on my PAO journey…for now. I will likely need a LPAO in the future. For now I am grateful to Dr. Feldman, Ella and all of the members of their team who have supported me through this process. I am looking forward to staying active and not needing to undergo a future hip replacement due to the success of this procedure.
David S. Feldman, MD is Chief of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery and a professor of orthopedic surgery & pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center / NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, specializing in the care of children with complex scoliosis, arthrogryposis, hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, and lower limb deformities.
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