‘I wouldn’t trade it for the world’: Rodeo barrel racer relieves pain without hip replacement

Here's what we know

HOUSTON – Ciara Behrens said she competes in barrel racing almost every weekend. She’s been riding horses since she was a toddler, and as much as she loves it, she thinks that might be how her hip pain started.

“I used to ride Saltgrass as a 3-year-old. All those years when your bones are not developed and they’re still soft, I think that’s probably what led me to this point in life. So, it was coming at some point,” Behrens said.

Although she tried other treatments, she knew surgery was where she was headed and she didn’t want a hip replacement.

“They’re going to tell you to quit riding horses and that’s not going to work,” Behrens thought of the worst case scenario for her.

She found Dr. Alfred Mansour, UT Health orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann, which was more than an hour from her home near Brenham. She wanted to see him because she felt he was one of the only surgeons preserving the hip for younger patients.

“A hip replacement is best for those (that are in their) 50s and 60s, and so not so much for the 20s and 30s,” Dr. Mansour explained. “We cut the bone around the socket and we move the socket into the right spot and then fix it there with screws and have it heal in the correct position. And it fixes their hip dysplasia and fixes the damage that their hip dysplasia caused.”

Behrens said she was back in the saddle four months after surgery and it’s worth every stitch and scar to be pain-free for the first time in years.

“I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I would do it over again to feel as good as I do now,” she said.

The downfall in opting for this surgery is it tends to have a longer recovery, Mansour said. However, the goal is it could put off or eliminate the need to entirely replace the joint.