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Patient Story: Angela Chaney

UK orthopaedic surgeon finds answer to woman’s chronic hip pain

Angela Chaney with her family
Angela Chaney with her family

For most of her life, Angela Chaney had experienced severe pain and discomfort in her hips.

After seeing many doctors and receiving various diagnoses for the symptoms she was experiencing, in 2007 a geneticist at UK HealthCare told Chaney she had Ehlers-Danos Syndromes (EDS), a disorder that affects connective tissue, primarily the skin, joints and blood vessel walls. Its symptoms can include overly flexible joints that can dislocate easily.

Simply having an accurate diagnosis began to change things for Chaney.

“All of my life I didn’t know why I couldn’t keep up with my family,” she said. “Having someone confirm it’s not all in your head is a big relief.”

Finding a solution

EDS made it difficult for Chaney to perform the everyday tasks many of us take for granted, such as doing the laundry and caring for her three children.

Simply walking sometimes caused her hip to slip in and out of its socket. On more than one occasion, she fell to the floor. The pain became so severe that Chaney became afraid to even tie her shoes, which ultimately made her feel she couldn’t leave her home.

In 2016, when Chaney met Dr. Stephen Duncan, an orthopaedic surgeon with UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, she finally found someone who could help her feel more normal and who was willing to work with her and her family to find the best solution.

“Dr. Duncan was very knowledgeable and considerate; he weighed my options with me and my family, and helped us decide what treatment would be best for all of our needs,” Chaney said.

Living a fuller life

Duncan opted to perform two hip replacements on Chaney. The implants he used will last 20 to 30 years, and he expects her to continue to see improvements in her strength and endurance.

“Knowing that I have allowed her to get closer to leading the life that she wants to lead and truly forget about her previous hip pain is the very reason why I went into the field of both hip preservation and hip replacement – both the routine and complex cases,” Duncan said.

For Chaney and her family, the opportunities now seem endless.

“I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have found Dr. Duncan,” Chaney said. “I won’t ever be normal, but now I can think about taking my kids to Disney World. We would never have thought that was possible before.”

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