Meet our Miles4Hips Champion, Gigi. Our Miles4Hips Champions are individuals who support the hip dysplasia community by sharing their story, creating awareness about this diagnosis, and supporting the educational and research efforts of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute to improve prevention, and diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes for individuals and families affected by hip dysplasia. We are grateful to her for wanting to share her story and to help others!
I was a ballerina for most of my young life and I was living in constant pain from the age of 14 onwards. At first, I was told it was growing pains. Then, when I turned 17, I finally went to see a specialist who told me “all dancers have this kind of pain, live with it or quit ballet.” I was devastated, but I continued ballet hoping that I would outgrow the pain.
Nearly 2 years later, I saw another orthopedic surgeon who told me I had severe bilateral hip dysplasia and labral tears. I knew that this would mean surgery one day, and I finally went for it. Before I had the chance to have my first surgery, my body had been so broken down by having unstable and damaged hips that my PCL (knee ligament) also tore. I realized that I needed to correct my hips in order to be able to have a hope at becoming the athlete I once was.
I had both of my hips repaired with labrum reconstructions and the periacetabeular osteotomy (PAO), as well as having my femurs corrected. While they were inside my left hip, they realized that my ligamentum teres was completely gone — not just torn, destroyed. My hips were worse than they looked on the scans but for each of my hip surgeries, my surgeons worked towards making me an athlete again.
I will forever be grateful to Dr. Marc Philippon and Dr. Joel Matta for giving me my life back by treating my hip dysplasia.