A photo of Kait showing the rotation of her legs pre-osteotomy, caused by miserable malalignment syndrome

Kait lives with miserable malalignment syndrome, which means that the bones in her legs are rotated abnormally. Since childhood her femurs were pointed inwards while her tibias rotated outwards, causing her knees to face each other. Even though this rotation was plainly visible to the naked eye, it still took decades for Kait’s condition to be diagnosed.

A photo showing Kait's malalignment before corrective surgeries.

Not much is known about miserable malalignment syndrome. It’s possible Kait’s condition was caused by a birth defect or by a genetic predisposition. She first noticed her legs looked different than her classmates at 13 years old, which is around the time she started experiencing chronic pain in her hips, knees and ankles. Kait’s passion for jogging led these pains to worsen over the years. In her early 20s she was in so much pain that she struggled to do basic tasks like getting in and out of the shower or putting on pants. That’s when she finally began to seek help.

In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Kait discusses her journey with miserable malalignment syndrome, including finally being diagnosed at 27 years old. After a lifetime of being told her issues were her own fault and that she just needed to strengthen her joints, she found a specialist who took one look at the way she was sitting and knew immediately she had malalignment. She chronicles the many surgeries she has undergone, first to correct repeated labral tears (the labrum is the cartilage that surrounds the joints) and eventually to correct the rotation of her femurs and tibias. These surgeries are called osteotomies, and involve breaking, rotating and resetting the major leg bones. The alignment of one leg has been completely corrected, and she will soon repeat the process for the other leg. Kait is already noticing a huge reduction in pain in the corrected leg, and is very optimistic she will be able to return to jogging once her second leg is corrected.

Connect with Kait on Instagram @alignedk8, or read an article about her story here: https://miles4hips.org/kaitlyns-story

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