The strength beyond project

My name is Olivia and my journey began in 2016, at the age of 16, with a mysterious bruise on my left leg and increasing hip pain. I spent the next 12 months being passed from surgeon to surgeon, specialist to specialist, with no answers as to why this was happening. In 2017, a year after my symptoms started, I met with a surgeon who was adamant there was something serious going on… A week later, I was diagnosed as a femoral neck fracture, early onset osteoarthritis and areas of bone death due to this being left untreated for so long. I was on crutches for 4 months with no signs of improvement, and later underwent arthroscopic surgery to attempt to restore bone health & decrease pain… After that proved to be unsuccessful & my bone continued to deteriorate, I went in for a left total hip replacement in 2018. 

Fast forward three months, team mysterious leg bruise is back again but this time on the right side. An urgent trip to my surgeon’s office confirmed I had hip dysplasia in my right hip & needed a PAO (peri acetabular osteotomy) to avoid further issues. I underwent this surgery in 2019 and to this day, it’s still one of the toughest & most painful experiences I’ve had to overcome. 

2020 came around and once again, team mysterious leg bruise is back and bigger than ever. We still don’t know the reasoning behind the bruising, but we do know it was a sign of bone deterioration. After a long discussion with my surgeon, we decided to remove the screws from my PAO surgery & replace my right hip before things progressed any further. I underwent my right total hip replacement in 2020. 

 The months following my right hip replacement were tough… but a year later I was hitting goals in the gym & making more progress than I had in the past 6 years. My physio was happy and I was celebrating! 

Unfortunately, my left prosthesis was sitting at the wrong angle by nearly 30 degrees & I was experiencing instability episodes more frequently as the months went on. In December 2021, I underwent a revision total hip replacement surgery of my left hip through a posterior approach. It’s been one hell of a journey since then, and one that is far from over. I’m facing a few bumps in the road, but I am continuing to put one foot in front of the other each day. I am thanking my lucky stars I have amazing physiotherapists on my side. They have been my biggest supports since day one of this journey. 

My hip journey has taken so much away for me… so many things I loved so much, including dance. However, I have taken my journey & turned into something empowering… ‘thestrengthbeyondproject.’ This project aims to help hip warriors feel a little less alone on their journey & have a safe space to share their story. 

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