Stories about: hip dysplasia

Nicole’s Story: Dancing my way through pain

Nicole Zizzi dancer hip dysplasia PAO Thriving blog lead image
PHOTO COURTESY OF MICKEY WEST PHOTOGRAPHY

Dance is my life passion.

I’ve spent more than 15 hours a week dancing for most of my 26 years — except for a period of time the past few years, when hip pain forced me to stop.

We dancers usually don’t express our pain; in fact, we almost like to be in pain because it means we’re working hard and improving. So, when I woke up one morning two years ago and I couldn’t lift my left leg, I knew something was very wrong. This pain was too intense to ignore.

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Working together for pain relief

Nadiya poses on a boat after receiving pain relief
PHOTOS COURTESY OF NADIYA ROY

When asked what she loves about lacrosse, 19-year-old Nadiya Roy pauses, searching for an answer. It’s not that she doesn’t know why she enjoys the sport — she can’t choose just one aspect of it. “I like the fast pace,” she says finally. “I love that it involves such teamwork. Even if you’re not the best individual player, if you work together, you can succeed.”

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The PAO buddy system: Healing through connection

Leigh Lozano and Alyse Scanlon PAO patients Thriving lead image

For people with significant orthopedic hip conditions such as hip dysplasia, a periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) is a major surgery that can reduce or eliminate pain, while also increasing hip function. However, the post-op recovery and rehabilitation process can be long and sometimes painful.

“Recovery is an up and down process,” says Ariana Moccia, a nurse practitioner who works closely with patients in the Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. “It’s important for patients to be able to share their frustrations and successes with somebody who really understands.” That’s why Ariana and orthopedic hip preservation surgeon Dr. Eduardo Novais have been working to connect prospective PAO patients with others who have already gone through the surgery.

Three of the patients who helped initiate the PAO “buddy system” at Boston Children’s share their experiences.

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Makayla’s story: Living with Leri-Weill Dyschondrosteosis

Makayla hip dysplasia lead image

Our daughter Makayla was born perfectly healthy on April 5th, 2014, passing all of the usual newborn screenings without issue. From day one, her personality shone through. She was strong-willed and had a smile that would light up her eyes before her mouth even showed a hint of joy. But over the next 3 months, Makayla wasn’t eating well and wasn’t gaining enough weight.  Our pediatrician referred us to Dr. Elizabeth Hait, a gastroenterologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Hait would change Makayla’s formula multiple times and put her on medication for her acid reflux. Her pediatrician also tested her for a milk allergy, since her brother had one as an infant, but it was negative. It was recommended Makayla have an upper GI to make sure everything was anatomically correct.

The technician suggested everything looked good, so we left feeling that Makayla was perfectly normal. But a call from her doctor that afternoon turned our world upside down.

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