The Climb: Overcoming Hip Pain to “Hit Play” on Life

Impacting approximately 27 million Americans, osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease caused by “wear and tear” that ultimately results in painful joints, which often leads to hip or knee pain. Unfortunately, many women who suffer from osteoarthritis live with significant joint pain almost every day, based on an online survey commissioned by DePuy Synthes of 500 U.S. women aged 45 to 65.

As one of the many women who have struggled with joint pain, 60-year-old Judy Curtis, shared her personal experience with FabOverFifty. A passionate and avid hiker, Judy was hiking in the Rocky Mountains when a misstep caused her legs to be pinned under a two-ton boulder. While Judy eventually recovered, this traumatic incident eventually led to the development of osteoarthritis in her hip and she began to experience pain regularly.

For years, Judy tried everything she could do to alleviate her joint pain. She was hesitant to get a hip replacement because she was afraid that the recovery time after surgery would prevent her from living the active life she enjoyed with her husband and young daughters. Ultimately, her growing hip pain forced her to adjust day-to-day tasks and give up on activities she loved most, including hiking, bike rides and evening walks with her husband. Judy recalls how even walking across the kitchen became so challenging that she started to make adjustments to her daily routines so tasks were easier on her joints, such as keeping items at the top of the stairs to avoid going up and down the steps as often.

After suffering with osteoarthritis for nearly a decade Judy heard about the possible advantages of anterior approach for hip replacement surgery, including the speedier recovery time. She decided to speak to her doctor about hip replacement surgery and made the decision to get the operation.

Judy hasn’t looked back since. She worked hard at rehab and has been able to enjoy the activities she loves since her recovery. Six months after her surgery, she chaperoned her daughter’s school trip to Washington, DC, where she walked miles a day, participated in a Girl Scout mountain backpacking trip, and danced again!  

Asked what advice she would give to her younger self about hip replacement surgery, Judy responded, “Once you start giving up one activity that you love – it is time to consider it. It is not worth giving up on aspects of life that are important, whether it is avoiding something simple as going up stairs or your day-to-day activities you love.”  

So many women, like Judy, experience hip pain that impacts their day-to-day activities. If you may be living your life on “pause,” you can take action and talk to your doctor about how you can “hit play” on your life. For more information about hip and knee pain or to find a doctor near you to discuss potential treatment options, visit TimeToHitPlay.com.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted online by Edelman Intelligence on behalf of DePuy Synthes Companies between April 21 and May 8, 2017 in the United States among 266 women 45-65 years old who had knee or hip replacement surgery in the last 5 years and 266 women 45-65 years old who are planning to have knee or hip replacement surgery in the next 2 years.

Important Safety Information

The performance of hip or knee replacements depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have these surgeries. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can determine if hip or knee replacement is necessary based on an individual patient’s condition.