Unique Joint Replacement Promo Features Olympic
Coach, Others Writing Letters to Younger Selves
Legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski teams with author
Ellyn Spragins to release "Had I Known Then," A collection of letters
from former joint pain sufferers to their younger selves
Coach Mike Krzyzewski talks about
his hip replacement - see video below.
Dec. 7, 2012 – In a unique way to encourage those
with joint pain to consider joint replacement, an orthopedics company
has published an online booklet that features a U.S. Olympics coach and
several others who regret not having their painful joints replaced
earlier. Senior citizens and baby boomers, the most likely to have
debilitating osteoarthritis, often delay hip or knee replacement surgery
for years due to fear, misinformation or a lack of awareness about
DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. teamed up with the coach
of both the U.S. Olympic Team for Men's Basketball and Duke University
Men's Basketball team, Mike "Coach K" Krzyzewski, and Ellyn Spragins,
author of the best-selling "Letters to My Younger Self" book series to
introduce the "Had I Known Then" booklet on joint health, available at
With baby boomers beginning to hit the years when
many are affected by osteoarthritis, knowledge of hip and knee joint
conditions and treatment options for severe joint pain becomes more
important than ever. The booklet features letters from several baby
boomers to their younger selves to provide encouragement and advice as
they contemplate joint replacement surgery.
Among the patients featured in the booklet is Coach
K, the winningest coach in Division I men's college basketball, who
considered an early retirement from the game he loved after suffering
from severe hip pain due to osteoarthritis. Coach K consulted with his
orthopedic surgeon and had his left hip replaced in 1999.
"I really came close to retiring from coaching
because the pain was getting unbearable both on and off the court,
despite daily medications and physical therapy," said Coach K. "That '99
season could very well have been my last if I didn't get help."
experiencing similar pain in his right hip, Coach K didn't wait -- he
spoke with his surgeon about his treatment options and eventually had
his right hip replaced in 2002. To read the "Had I Known Then" booklet,
including Coach K's letter to his younger self, please visit
"With the benefit of hindsight, I realized that,
for all those years when I was suffering from osteoarthritis, I was
bringing other opponents to the basketball court -- pain, fatigue, lack
of movement -- and that really limited my ability to be a good leader
and coach. I was battling a lot of opponents, not just those on the
court. I really wish I would have had my hip replaced sooner," said
"Today at 65, I feel younger than I did at 52. That's why I'm
eager to share my story with others and encourage people to seek help if
they are experiencing severe hip or knee pain."
Through speaking with Coach K and others who
suffered from osteoarthritis, Ellyn Spragins discovered that few people
reflect on the impact their health has on their lives, even though
physicality is intimately tied to emotional well-being. With this latest
collection of letters, she hopes the booklet inspires people to learn
from the examples of other joint replacement patients and consider the
impact that arthritis pain is having on them and their families now and
how treatment could affect the course of their lives.
"For nearly a decade I've worked with dozens of
people to write letters to their younger selves, reflecting on difficult
moments in their lives and sharing the advice they wish they had known
at that time," said Ellyn.
"In 'Had I Known Then' I'm hoping to inspire those
suffering from osteoarthritis to take action and talk to an orthopedic
surgeon about treatment options. I hope these letters provide people
with insight on the physical and emotional toll of osteoarthritis --
such as our ability to do our jobs and pursue the activities we love --
and the profound impact joint replacement can have on a person's health
and enjoyment of life."
Osteoarthritis: Leading Source of Disability
The most frequent cause of severe hip or knee pain
is osteoarthritis, a debilitating condition that begins with pain in the
affected joint and does not get better with time. If left untreated,
osteoarthritis can cause bone deterioration and pose long-term health
It is estimated that one in every five people in
the United States has some form of arthritis and that osteoarthritis is
one of the most common reasons a person will need a joint replacement.
OA results in 632,000 joint replacements each year.
Hip or knee replacement surgery is an option for
people diagnosed with advanced osteoarthritis associated with joint
damage, serious limitations in physical mobility and an overall reduced
quality of life. People suffering from severe hip or knee pain due to
osteoarthritis wait, on average, seven to 11 years before undergoing
joint replacement surgery.
Important Safety Information
The performance of knee and hip replacements
depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are
potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting
rehabilitation should not have knee or hip replacement surgery. Only an
orthopedic surgeon can determine if knee or hip replacement is required
based on an individual patient's condition.
About Source - DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.
DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., reports to be a global
leader in hip, knee and shoulder replacement and is part of DePuy
Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson, the largest provider of
orthopedic and neurological solutions in the world. For more
Mike Krzyzewski and Ellyn Spragins were compensated
by DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., the sponsor of the "Had I Known Then"
booklet on joint health.