Jane’s Story: Search for pain relief leads to West Chester Hospital

JaneJane Hawn of West Chester is a self-described “project person.”

“I’ll build a house, or whatever,” she says with a laugh. “I’ve always pushed things. I’ve been hard on my body.”

Jane’s latest project was an intense exercise class during which she began experiencing pain in her pelvic area. “I literally got to the point where I couldn’t get off the ground. I was in bad shape, lots of pain. I had been to several doctors, even ending with a pain doctor. It was just an ongoing thing.”

Based on a friend’s recommendation, Jane, 54, went to see Keith Kenter, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at West Chester Hospital and associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

“He quickly told me, ‘It’s your hip,’ ” Jane says. She underwent arthroscopic surgery earlier this year at West Chester Hospital. Dr. Kenter cleaned out bone spurs that were causing an impingement so that the ball could not rotate in the hip joint.

“He cleaned it up and it was amazing,” said Jane. “It was like night and day, immediately.”

The unique hip arthroscopy is most commonly used to repair cartilage lesions in the tissue that surrounds the hip joint socket. It is also used to remove an impingement on the edge of the socket or along the neck of the ball on the femur, as in Jane’s case.

“We are now able to deplete bone spurs that are causing the pain by using the arthroscope,” Dr. Kenter says.

It is not uncommon for these impingements and labral tears to be misdiagnosed. Symptoms can include groin pain or a general feeling of deep hip or buttocks pain, aggravated by rotational events like getting out of a car or putting on shoes and socks. In the past, these issues were sometimes treated as arthritis, or a pulled groin or hip muscle.

“We certainly favor trying a less invasive procedure, if it’s appropriate, rather than an open surgical approach. Now we can do an outpatient surgery with just three or four small incisions,” Dr. Kenter says.  “I am doing more and more hip arthroscopic surgeries at West Chester Hospital. The equipment is available and the radiologists and other techs completely understand the procedure.”

Jane had outpatient surgery in three hours and her recovery basically took just one weekend. “I went back right away to my exercise classes,” she says. “You can go from being in really bad shape to doing things again very quickly.”

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