“For my 12th birthday, in the summer of 1996, I was gifted my first pair of rollerblades. Little did I know, these rollerblades would change my life forever. Only 10 days after receiving the gift, my neighborhood friends came over and we planned a morning of rolling around the neighborhood. It was a typical day of fun with friends until the last lap around the block. On that lap, a pinecone got wedged between the wheels of my right rollerblade, causing me to fall and my legs ended up in a split position. I could hear my bones crack and pop as my hip was ripped away from my body. Instantly the pain was horrific and I was unable to move.
I was rushed by ambulance to Allen Hospital in Waterloo, IA where I was diagnosed with slipped capital femoral epiphysis. Surgery was performed the next day to place 2 pins in the hip to correct the slip and close the growth plate. I spent an entire year on crutches, non-weight bearing. Six months after the pins were placed, another surgery was performed to remove the pins from my hip because they were causing my bones to deteriorate. My doctors told my parents that I would never be able to walk on my own without a wheelchair, crutches, or a walker.
Over the next four years, there were many follow-up appointments and second opinions. Every time I saw a different specialist, the same outcome was discussed – I am too young to have more surgery. I ended up developing a 2 inch leg length discrepancy which hindered my quality of life. Things that seemed simple for others were daily struggles for me – putting on socks, climbing stairs, walking, participating in school activities, and much more. I was always in pain and it was very difficult to lead a life that felt fulfilling. Eventually, I came to terms with the fact that I was likely going to have to spend my life like this.
But everything changed when I met Dr. Mahoney almost 21 years after the rollerblading accident.
On the initial visit with Dr. Mahoney, he explained that there are new options available to fix my leg and hip. He felt that my life could benefit greatly from surgery and after I took time to consider, I notified Dr. Mahoney that I was ready to be added to his surgery schedule. On March 21st, 2018 I underwent a total hip replacement at the age of 33. The surgery was a success.
Throughout my entire care process, Dr. Mahoney was very patient, took the time to answer all of my questions, and calmed my fears. One year post-surgery, I am able to enjoy my life free of pain while accomplishing the little things that most people take for granted. I have taken up swimming, I walk my puppy Cash several times a week, I can put on socks without an assistive device, and the list goes on. Dr. Mahoney made me realize that medicine is constantly changing and that new options are always becoming available. I am so thankful that my health journey lead to Iowa Ortho and Dr. Mahoney.”