This began as an Instagram post that became too long for Instagram. Here it is, with only slight edits from that format.

Well, might as well update on doctors appointment 3 for the week since that’s how things unfolded.

Kerri sits in doctors office with painting of a blue dog behind her

Backstory: my right hip has been messed up since I was born. It’s essentially dislocated (severe hip dysplasia, per my reading perhaps better described now as congenital hip disease, specifically high congenital dislocation) and being held in place by scar tissue as I understand it, with other structure-y issues compounding this. 

It took 30 years for it to start hurting unless I was in a plane seat (it actually probably caused my knee pain before the actual problem joint started hurting). This was initially understandable after waking a LONG distance… until it started hurting for weeks at a time. And then last weekend I walked ALL OF 2 KILOMETERS and it hurt for 5 days after, including most of the time when sitting/lying down which was new. I am not in a ton of pain and it eased up, mostly, minus some surrounding muscle pain with movement and continued increased “clicking” feeling. (Except then since my appointment I walked more and the actual joint hurts again. Great. ??‍♀️)

But it was quite distracting, especially as 80% of the time I move even slightly something clicks inside my hip, which I am pretty sure is not great. 

So I went to see my family doctor. He is aware of my hip stuff but I showed him a picture of my 2018 hip X-ray on my phone and his reaction was along the line of “Yikes” (not necessarily a good reaction, but a funny one!), and a brief discussion that, no, basically there is no real femoral head. 

Xray of right hip anterior view. The femoral head is significantly flattened and essentially absent
The head of the femur is generally the “ball” in the ball and socket joint of the hip. There is no real femoral head present, which a previous radiologist described as “flattened”.
It is dislocated and articulating with what is called a “false acetabulum” – I could tell you what but I failed anatomy twice.

The good news is he agrees I’m not in hip replacement territory yet. The surprising-to-me news (given I grew up constantly seeing orthopedics as a kid) is that ortho possibly won’t see me until that time comes. 

The question I had is basically what can we do so I can, you know, *do things* and not make my hip more garbage for days/weeks after—and hopefully in turn delay hip replacement as long as possible.

So back to X-ray I went. Once he gets that report and if it looks like we expect it to (AKA doesn’t look remarkably worse than before or anything?), he will probably refer me to physiatry to see what they can figure out. Physiatry (physical medicine & rehabilitation) hasn’t ever been mentioned to me—probably due to the next paragraph—so I’m curious to see how that goes.

The good-ish news: I’ve now had a second doc tell me their surprise at how well I function once they see how bad my 3 affected joints actually are. Similarly, the x-ray tech came out of the booth evidently having looked at my scans and said she was shocked I made it 30 years without hip pain… so something went right along the way!

This isn’t quite how I expected this appointment to go but I’m definitely happy with how it went. I’m, as always, super pleased with my family doc and how whenever I approach a problem with “Do we need to address this?” he either has a great explanation for why not to, or takes the concern seriously and makes a plan to do something! I presume we will confirm next steps next week—I may not have any more solutions today but hopefully some are coming. 

And I guess, shout out to the scar tissue holding my hip together for 31 years? 

EDIT: I wrote most of this on Friday. It is now Monday as I finally post it here, and I have since learned that apparently when you are not in peds orthopedics/a grown-up/not in sport medicine, you get to know nothing about your x-ray until the radiologist sends a report to the doctor about it? Clearly I have been spoiled by my 14 years of pediatric orthopedics visits and the sports medicine clinic where they show you the x-ray and then wait for a report from radiology. I knew I wasn’t going to see it Friday (I should’ve asked the technologist, I suppose!) but who knew it could be many days? (Everyone who has had normal person x-rays ever, apparently, that’s who.)