a large white medical building

Comeback Champion: Carol Smith

October 29, 2019

Bluegrass Orthopaedics is fortunate to acknowledge our latest Comeback Champion - Ms. Carol Smith. Ms. Smith had been struggling with back pain and osteoporosis for many years, and had been through many appointments and physical therapy visits before seeing her primary care doctor, and being referred to see Dr. Kevin Denehy. Her primary care physician, Dr. Nesbitt, had recently examined Ms. Smith and took X-Rays of her lower back and hip. Much to their surprise, her recent jump in low back pain could be attributed to her hip - she was diagnosed with avascular necrosis. Avascular necrosis (AVN), also called osteonecrosis, is essentially death of the bone due to a lack of blood supply. It can lead to tiny fractures and breaks, eventually leading to the collapse of the bone.

Ms. Smith's Hip Prior to Surgery
Ms. Smith's Hip Prior to Surgery

Ms. Carol had been having pain around her hip and lower back for many years, without any idea of the severity, or the cause of her pain. "I had back pain for several years, and it was getting worse around my hip area. I struggled to move my leg, and often times had to use my hands to lift my leg before I could move. I was getting slower and slower. I thought it was all revolving around my lower back - I had no idea that the head of my femur was beginning to crumble."

Ms. Smith needed a hip replacement - a common procedure that involves removing diseased or damaged bony structures in the hip socket and replacing them with new, artificial parts. Dr. Denehy specializes in anterior hip replacement, a minimally invasive procedure. Anterior hip replacements utilize a small incision placed along the front of the hip, and can often times lead to an easier recovery.

After seeing Dr. Denehy, Ms. Smith was scheduled for surgery 3 weeks later at Baptist Hospital in Lexington, KY. Ms. Smith remembers waking up from her surgery - "I woke up and could walk without pain! Every day since then has been an absolute joy." Ms. Smith was able to go home the next day, and was then seen by BGO's home therapy team of Chris Bagbey, PT and Tracy Keenoy, PT. "Chris and Tracy helped me get in and out of the car and had me going up and down stairs without pain for the first time in years!"

Ms. Smith's Hip After Surgery
Ms. Smith's Hip After Surgery

When it was time to continue therapy in BGO's outpatient physical therapy facility, Ms. Smith began working with Bethany Dehner, PTA. "Physical therapy has been an amazing experience. Before seeing Dr. Denehy I was depressed, but after surgery and physical therapy, I have joy each day!" Ms. Smith would like to tell those who are contemplating a joint replacement, "Don't be afraid - you'll be much better off afterwards!"

We'd like to thank Ms. Carol Smith for her story, and her willingness to share about her experience. We wish her the best!

To learn more about total joint specialist, Dr. Kevin Denehy, please click here!