Patient Stories

Tennis, Anyone: Hip Replacement After Knee (Yes, Knee) Pain

About five years ago, Jason Kaplan, then in his early forties, began having intermittent pain in his knees, which he learned was radiating from his hips. “I was always very active in sports - tennis, skiing, squash, martial arts, soccer, basketball - you name it, I did it,” says Mr. Kaplan, a Manhattan father of two. “I was feeling sore and originally thought it was a knee problem - I had no idea it was my hips.”

Because he was considered too young for a full hip replacement, Mr. Kaplan was referred to Frederick Boettner, MD, assistant attending orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery, for his expertise in hip resurfacing. Hip resurfacing is a procedure in which the ball and socket are replaced, but the femur bone is preserved and sculpted to accept a metal cap with a shorter stem. By retaining more bone in the femur, a patient can still have a total hip replacement should it become necessary at a later date. “Hip resurfacing is an option that lets patients return to sports,” explains Dr. Boettner.

In January 2009, Mr. Kaplan underwent the procedure on both hips. Six months later, he was back on the tennis court. “If I was 100 percent before my hip problem, now I would say I’m back to 75 or 80 percent - that’s a big improvement.”  Now, at age 46, Mr. Kaplan is still in full swing.

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