Hip Injury update

I recently saw another specialist for a second opinion on my hip.  I am so glad I did because I now feel confident I know the full story.  It turns out the underlying cause for the pain in my hip is hip dysplasia.  I’ve had it since birth, and apparently some 10-15% of the population also has it.  Many people lead perfectly normal and active lives with hip dysplasia, but it can lead to complications down the road.
Basically my pelvic bone, which forms a socket around the ball of my hip, does not cover it completely.  They measure an angle form the center of the ball to where the bone starts covering it up, and that angle should be 25 degrees or more.  On me it is 11 degrees.  So I’m quite dysplastic (if that’s a word).  The upshot is that my labrum (the cartilage around my hip) is quite big, and easily torn, which explains the diagnosis I got from my MRI.  Also, the muscles around my hip have to work on over-drive to keep my hip in place at all times.  Apparently this also explains why I am so flexible.  Ballerinas and gymnasts commonly have this deformity.
Moving forward, it was suggested that I get a cortisone shot into my hip joint.  That’s happening today.  This will knock out any lingering inflammation from my last thru-hike.  There is a surgery to fix hip dysplasia, but it involves breaking your pelvic bone in three places and putting it back together again.  It also would mean not walking for 3 months.  The doctor was optimistic that since I hiked the Appalachian Trail 5 years ago without any symptoms, I would likely be able to continue on with my life without the surgery.  I could get a flare up now and again.  I am likely, however, to need hip replacement surgery when I am older since I am at higher risk of arthritis and other hip problems.  The hip dysplasia surgery is also called hip preservation surgery, because with the hip dysplasia fixed, the hip is less at risk for future problems.
So basically, if the cortisone shot wonders for me (which I’m hoping will be the case), then no surgery for me!  If symptoms return, I may consider the hip preservation surgery, but not before I get a third, forth and maybe even fifth opinion.  I’m not having some surgeon breaking my pelvis in three places just for fun!

8 thoughts on “Hip Injury update

  1. How did the shot go and did it help?
    Also, have you checked out the lyme disease possibiliy ?
    Just beside myself wanting to know how things are going.


  2. Hi Doormouse, Glad to hear there is some hope on the horizon for the hip. We are hiking the PCT now and really enjoying it. Your pictures you shared on your blog are coming alive for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a cortisone shot in my neck about two years ago, and that knocked out the problems I had with a pinched nerve in my neck (neural foraminal narrowing). I’m super glad I got it, avoided surgery and my problems have not recurred. Scott

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad you got a second opinion…I didn’t realize you had hip dysplasia, that totally explains your flexibility. Did they know you had it as a child? No casts or hip spica casts as a child?
    You are the best judge of your body and how the hip is feeling, so do what you feel is best for you and your lifestyle.
    Surgery should always be a last resort.


  5. I asked my Chinese Medical Doctor (who is Scottish, btw) about cortisone shots and he said they stay in your system for 6 months or so. I figured that wasn’t too bad and he would’ve steered me away from them if he thought they were horrible. I would also check to see if you have any practitioners who do stem cell treatments. This same practitioner takes a blood sample, extracts the stem cells, and injects them back into the joint. I was in the office once while he was trying to get a sample from a patient. I’m not sure about the whole ‘going to Tijuana’ to get that done, but I have read about it there.


  6. Please do some research on Lyme Disease before you get that shot. Since you have hiked all over the world and Lyme Disease is at epidemic proportions you may want to reconsider doing something the Lyme thrives on which is steroids. You more than likely have Lyme Disease since hiking is what you do. Many, many people have unnecessary surgeries because of Lyme. Do some research and then decide. Here are some links for you to start out with. If you would like to get tested I can give you the name of the correct DR. to see in your area that specializes in Lyme Disease because the regular Dr’s don’t have a clue. http://www.wildcondor.com/lymelinks.html My email is iceiam@aol.com if you would like more information and the name of a Lyme Specialist in your area.


  7. Before you get the shot do some reading .. the steroidal shots have long term impacts on health they are finding out… look for alternative therapy and inflammation treatment including holistic. My hip injury from the trail is slowly healing on its own and should be good for my thousand mile summer.


    • Thanks for your comment. In the research I’ve done, I’ve only seen long term impacts if you get many steroidal shots. Once or twice in a life-time doesn’t seem to cause concern. It also seems that cortisone shots into the hip are usually only done a couple times in a life-time anyway. If this shot doesn’t work, I certainly won’t go back for another one. Even if it does work, but then wears off- at that point, I’ll be considering surgery a little more seriously, I won’t just go back for another shot.


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