"I was a trail runner—not a particularly talented one, but a passionate one. When my right hip started hurting, I thought I had tendinitis, and the worst thing I could imagine was being told I couldn’t run for six to eight weeks. What I was actually told—that I had hip dysplasia and that I would need two major surgeries to restructure my hip socket and femur—was devastating. Choosing to go through with the surgery was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, but choosing the right surgeon was a no-brainer. Dr. Mei-Dan took me seriously as an athlete and cared as much as I did about getting me back on the trails. And he’s clearly some kind of genius in the O.R. It’s amazing to have correct hip mechanics for the first time in my life! My PT, Sue Torrence, is also a rockstar, and deserves all the credit for rebuilding me back into my old adventure-machine self. I’m now seven months post-op and I’m running Sanitas after work, climbing 14ers, mountain biking, and (the best part) plotting next year’s race calendar. I know my left hip will need the same surgeries in the future, and no way would I go anywhere else."
Annie Swanberg, 35, (Bilateral) PAO/DFO March 2015
Growing up in Colorado, I’ve always been a very active person. I had struggled with hip pain for about 10 years until it finally got so bad that I could barely walk through the grocery store let alone ski or run or do any of the things that make me who I am. When I found out that I needed to undergo PAO to preserve my hip, I was devastated and thought that I would never ski again. But now, just 7 months after surgery, I am back on the mountain and skiing better than I ever have before! Most importantly, though, this surgery has given me back the life I thought I had lost forever. I’m now looking forward to a lifetime of adventures with this new hip of mine!
After having chronic hip pain for 15 years, I thought I was destined for a hip replacement at a young age. I’d already had one surgery to repair a torn labrum and to reshape my femur, but that didn’t stop the pain. Then I was introduced to Dr. Mei-Dan, and even though he diagnosed me with dysplasia and told me I needed another major surgery, I knew it was the right thing to do. And I haven’t looked back since. Less than a year out and I’m doing everything I hadn’t been able to do for 15 years! Skiing, hiking, biking, and playing on the floor with my kiddo. Pain free! He showed me respect and compassion from day one, and a degree of concern I haven’t seen in any other doctor. Thank you for allowing me to live my life the way I want… actively!
Rachel Levy, 40, PAO April 2015
Living and growing up in Colorado, being active is a way of life. From trail running, hiking, yoga, mountain biking and cycling to rock climbing, skiing the backcountry, and competing in a high level of endurance sports, you name it - the back roads of Colorado have led me to many adventures..
In the last 5+ years, my body just started hurting more and more and recovery became no joke. Easy 5k runs felt like marathons and climbing became an enjoyment of the past. I had always thought my hips were double jointed as they felt like they would "pop-out" with certain movement. Over time, I slowly had to give up most activity do to pain and progressed instability. After a failed hip-scope in 2014 by a different doctor, I thought I was doomed to live in chronic and debilitating pain for the rest of my life. After a year searching for answers, I was introduced to Dr. Mei-Dan. Hearing the news of needing scope and PAO to correct my condition was devastating as I thought my days as an adventure-loving athlete were long gone, but choosing Dr. Mei-Dan was the easiest and best choice I could have made. He took me serious not only as a patient but as an athlete who has some serious goals to pursue. All I can say is this man is a genius!, I am thrilled to report that this surgery has completely given me my life back and more! At 6-months I was hiking Colorado 14'ers and now at 10months, I'm back to hiking, running, climbing, cycling, planning future races and more! The value of living a pain free life is priceless. Dr. Mei-Dan and his team are nothing but top notch - from the first appointment to the operating room, bed-side manner, and follow up's. I never thought I would be able to experience a pain-free life again. Dr. Mei-Dan turned this scary experience into a very positive and successful one. can't tell you how amazing it is to have my active life back!
I would like to share my story with other PAO patients, especially those who, like me, aren't world-class athletes but want to live an active lifestyle free from pain.
For as long as I can remember, I have had hip pain. As a teen I figured I " just wasn't cut out for team sports" I thought my pain was normal until around age 30-I got to the point of barely being able to walk some days. During my entire experience with Dr. Mei-Dan and the team at CU, I knew everyone was working toward the goal of me being able to go on long walks with my dogs, yoga class, and walk the stairs to a concert at Red Rocks. I am doing all of that now!
Best of all, my husband and I were married 8 months post-PAO. Dr. Mei-Dan promised me I would walk down the aisle with my Dad, and I did! I even had my fairytale first dance-spins, dips, and all!
I have been a mountain biker my whole life and started racing when I was 12. I like to think of myself as a very committed and disciplined athlete.
I have cross-country raced in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, Colombia and the USA and at age 20 I won the USA Short Track Series in the semi-pro category.
After the 2016 “Breck-Epic” race in Breckenridge my left hip started hurting. I went back to Guatemala and started searching for a doctor who could diagnose me and help take this pain away. I visited 5 different doctors, did 2 MRI’s and they all (mis-) diagnosed me with Chronic Tendonitis prescribing physical therapy and rest. This did not really work.
After comprehensive web search and visits with sports specialists in the USA I was referred to Dr Mei-Dan who diagnosed me with Hip Dysplasia and hip impingement, both causing chronic tears in my labrum and cartilage. I was offered a much bigger surgery than I originally thought I will need but reasoning and logic behind it was clear. There was a clear path, and hope. I decided to go ahead with it and had it done on June 2017. The surgery went perfect and I started the long journey of physical therapy and rehab. With the help of my family, physiotherapists and the surgical team guidance my hip recovered as Dr. Mei Dan expected.
Six months from the PAO, while back in training, my right hip, the side that did not have surgery, started hurting. This time Dr. Mei Dan diagnosed only FAI and prescribed Hip arthroscopy, to fix the impingement and labral tear, without a need for a PAO. I was able to resume easy training few weeks after surgery.
In November, 6 month after my second side hip surgery, I got into a 3-stage MTB Race, and to my surprise I won my age category. I really couldn’t believe it. That after all these surgeries I was going to be able to train hard and even win my first race!
I am very thankful to Dr. Omer Mei Dan and his team for an excellent job.
Alejandro Siguere, Guatemala
"After years of hip pain, it became debilitating when I was 37 years old. I saw my general practitioner multiple times about this pain, I even had X-rays and was told that nothing was wrong with my hip. I knew that something was wrong. The pain was too deep- especially when sitting and driving. I was referred to Dr. Mei Dan in January of 2018 and was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. I learned after much imaging that the damage in my hip was substantial and I had two options- hip replacement or a PAO. I chose the PAO for many reasons, but mainly because I felt that I was too young for a hip replacement and I didn’t want to have restrictions on what I could do with my body. I wanted to live a full, active life.
I scheduled my Arthroscopy to repair my torn labrum and my PAO for June of 2018. The months before my surgery I was very nervous. I knew that this was very major surgery and I was scared. I knew that I would be unable to work, have to depend on others for help, but mostly, I was afraid of the pain. I can now say that the pain that I experienced after surgery was far less than I was experiencing before surgery with my hip dysplasia.
The months after surgery took a lot of work on my part. The first was accepting that I needed to fully rest. The second was relying on others- I had to ask for a lot of help and people really showed up for me. The third was physical therapy, it was imperative for me to see my PT twice a week and do my exercises at home. I felt myself slowly gain my strength back- which was very satisfying.
I am now 11 months out of surgery. I am completely pain free. I have returned to doing pilates, yoga and being a more fun and active parent. I felt so safe and confident having Dr. Mei Dan as my surgeon. I have been thrilled with the outcome of my surgery and I owe it to him. His team was so helpful, informative and compassionate. I will be grateful to them for the rest of my life! "
"I recently climbed my first Colorado 14er for the first time in 2 years. My PAO surgery was less than a year ago and I am now able to hike/climb 9 miles up a mountain with no trail!
Thank you all!"
"I wanted to share with you and the rest of the hip team an amazing visual update, 8 and 12 months after my Bilateral PAO’s.
Thank you all, for giving me my life back! "