Emily Norris

To start at the beginning of my journey to this hip surgery, I’ll take you back to May of this year. After years of annoying pain that had now become debilitating, I finally admitted there was something wrong enough with my right hip that I pursued treatment with a Physical Therapist, who at the end of my assessment said, I can treat you, but I think you should see an Orthopedic Surgeon too because I would bet you have Hip Dysplasia.
And he was right.
I ended up at the Nashville Hip Institute with one of the best doctors I've ever met, Dr. Tania Ferguson, and we planned for two surgeries on my right hip - a labrum repair and a Periacetabular Osteotomy to reshape my hip socket - in August. Between various appointments with my Physical Therapist and Dr. Ferguson, the term congenital ligament laxity got thrown around a few times, and when I Googled it (of course!) I came upon the diagnostic sheet for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility Type.
It didn't take me long to figure out I probably had it.
It's definitely taking me longer to figure out what that means.
On paper, my hip dysplasia isn't terrible, but it's complicated by the ligament laxity and amount of flexibility I have. After I started having some problems with my left hip, I met with Dr. Ferguson again and we decided that we should delay the surgery and spend more time strengthening my left hip.
So surgery was put off and I kept working at my PT and tried to live as “normal” a life I could. In the past two months I’ve been plagued by unrelenting neck pain, headaches, and some concerning neurological symptoms. So I went into scramble mode to get neck X-rays, MRI, and approval to move forward with my surgeries.
Despite the fact I have way outside the normal amount of range of motion in my neck, and a herniated disc, I was given the green light to move forward. At some point in the near future we will address how best to treat my neck, but for now I often wear a brace and am hoping and praying that it doesn’t get worse while I focus on my hip. My first surgery is November 28, and the second is December 3 - both at St Thomas Midtown in Nashville. I’m definitely scared, but also willing to go through worse pain for awhile to hopefully get some stability in my body for the future.