CINCINNATI - When it takes you 10 minutes to walk up a flight of stairs, something is very wrong. Well, that's what life was like for a young woman who had a mysterious hip pain. Doctors are now using arthroscopy to diagnose pain and heal the hips.
It's relief at last, for 19-year-old Emily Wander. For five long years she suffered horrible pain in her hips.
"Like your sharpest, excruciating pain that you've had and then make that constant, and that's what it felt like," Wander said.
Wander was active all her life. You name the sport, she played it. But by high school, she could barely walk.
Finally, Wander found Dr. Keith Kenter at the University of Cincinnati Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. He discovered bumps, or bone spurs, on her thigh bone, where the ball meets the hip socket.
"You can imagine as she flexes and rotates, that spur comes in contact with the socket," said Kenter, an orthopedic surgeon with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
To stop the pain, Kenter tried a high-tech treatment called hip arthroscopy. Through small incisions, he inserts special tools to repair torn cartilage and shave the bone spur.
"The days where we have to make a big incision, dislocate the hip to address something are going away," Kenter explained.
Now Wander is pain-free and can't wait to go running again.
Doctors said hip arthroscopy is done on an outpatient basis, and patients usually recover more quickly than with major surgery.
Ideal candidates are active patients who have hip pain resulting from bone spurs and tissue tears within the hip.
Doctors said arthroscopy is important because it's helping them see and understand problems within the hip, just as it helped them see and treat the knees and shoulders.
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