The human body experiences natural wear and tear with age. But these organic shifts may be compounded by circumstantial traumas that fundamentally alter the quality of life. Lady Gaga’s hip injury is one example.

In the Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two, one of the world’s most famous singers, allows cameras to access the painful effects of a five-year-long hip injury.

Though the film delves into the difficulties of fame and chronicles Gaga’s transition from provocative popstress to a heartfelt contemporary folk singer, there’s an important message fighting to be heard. Lady Gaga is more than an entertainment headline: she is a human being struggling with chronic pain.

How Did Lady Gaga Hurt Her Hip?

Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, Lady Gaga began her career at just 19. By the age of 22, Gaga had two breakthrough albums, The Fame and The Fame Monster, which positioned her for global stardom.

Gaga kicked off the Born This Way Ball tour in 2012, her first huge undertaking. It was during a show at Scheiße Live Montreal in 2013 that Gaga injured her hip while performing ArtPop.

She discusses the challenges of being a woman in pop music, saying it was common for male mentors and producers to assert ownership of her career and her body, overworking her and ultimately allowing her fame to envelope her health.

Gaga was forced to cancel the remaining tour dates after sustaining a hip fracture. In true Gaga fashion, she spent recovery getting around in a 24-karat gold wheelchair. She refused to let the hip surgery dampen her work ethic or her penchant for the fabulous.

Lady Gaga Hip Injury Effects

After five years, Gaga is still experiencing severe pain from fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder that manifests as widespread muscle pain and tenderness.

People suffering from fibromyalgia often have their symptoms overlooked or disregarded. Often labeled as “invisible pain,” it’s difficult for doctors to pinpoint the cause. In the film, with tears dripping from her face, Gaga awaits an MRI. She receives trigger point injections while sharing that past physicians have given her few treatment options other than a daily dose of Advil.

Writhing in pain, Gaga refers to the experience as the part of herself she didn’t want to face. She deals with tension in the abdomen, shoulder, neck, muscles, and intestines, as it shoots through her entire body, from her toes to her face.

Though the problems originated after her hip surgery, the trauma or injury creates full body spasms affecting her overall health. Gaga wonders how other people deal with such a debilitating illness if they lack financial and moral support.

“What the hell would I do if I didn’t have everybody to help me?”

She constantly feels her hip throughout the film and grows anxious about not being able to perform. She wonders whether she can even get pregnant, but continues to exercise. She continues to push on. Rarely has fibromyalgia been placed under such a microscope.

Gaga’s Hope For The Future

At times, Lady Gaga tries to perform and can’t. She recently canceled her Rock in Rio tour due to pain and inflammation. Despite taking a long list of medications, stretching, exercising and getting acupuncture, her hip hurts every single day.

For many individuals with hip injuries, doing even the simplest tasks can seem impossible. The allover physical pain and mental anguish becomes overwhelming.

In the extremely candid and vulnerable narrative of this documentary, Gaga is inspired to push herself through the pain for the music and the fans. She also stresses the importance of family when confronting such serious health issues. Hip injuries may affect daily activities, but having that fundamental support makes all the difference.

“You bring your past with you, but you also have to leave it behind,” she says.

Just this week she reassured her fans, or “little monsters,” on Instagram by posting a photo of herself in a recording studio with the caption, “Slowly coming back to life.” She captioned another photo, “Tough girl on the mend.” Her desire to persist is a genuine testament to the devotion and drive she has for her craft and her fans. May she long continue to create interesting spaces in the pop world and beyond.

Gaga will continue to create interesting spaces in the pop world and beyond while inspiring others with hip injuries and hip replacements to never lose hope for a better future.