Navigation Links
Coach K: Osteoarthritis Can Be Beaten

Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski overcame potentially crippling foe

MONDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- As head coach of the Duke University men's basketball team for the past 29 years, Mike Krzyzewski has faced plenty of tough opponents. But none proved to be more formidable than osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis and a leading cause of disability in the United States.

Krzyzewski (pronounced shah-SHEFF-skee) says he began experiencing severe hip discomfort during the 1994 season. With the help of physical therapy and over-the-counter and prescription painkillers, he managed to put up with the pain for five years. He considered joint-replacement surgery but kept putting it off.

"Being a coach and an athlete, I thought I should be able to tough it out," he said. "But the pain became crazy-bad during the 1998-1999 season. The last couple of months of the season, I had to coach while sitting on a stool. I thought I would have to give up coaching altogether."

But Coach K, as he is widely known, refused to give up the game he loved. Instead, he gave up his left hip, opting to undergo total joint replacement surgery in April 1999, when he was 52. By the following June, he was back to his normal activities -- only his hip was now pain-free and he was no longer walking with a limp. Two years later, he led the Blue Devils to their third national championship.

Now 62, Krzyzewski says he wishes he had had surgery sooner. Given the years of pain and increasing disability he endured, he said his decision to delay surgery "was not a smart thing to do."

So, when his right hip began to bother him, he was quicker to go under the knife, having a second joint replacement operation in April 2002. Like the first, the second surgery was a success: Krzyzewski is again a spirited presence at courtside -- and not only at Duke. In 2008, he led the USA men's basketball team to a gold medal performance at the Olympic Games in Beijing, and he recently agreed to return as coach for the 2012 Olympics in London.

If Krzyzewski's occupation and high-profile career make him a special case among the estimated 27 million Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis, his initial response to having the disease is fairly typical.

"People tend to ignore the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis when it first strikes," said Dr. John H. Klippel, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "They try to push through the pain and hope it goes away on its own. It doesn't."

Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition. It can affect any joint but occurs most commonly in knees, lower back, fingertips or, as in Krzyzewski's case, the hips. Mild to moderate osteoarthritis can often be controlled with pain-killing medication (typically acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), perhaps in conjunction with injections of corticosteroids in the affected joints. Regular physical activity is a must for preserving mobility and preventing the weight gain that makes matters worse, said Klippel, who is using Monday, Oct. 12, World Arthritis Day, to spread the word that osteoarthritis is a very treatable condition.

"When the pain becomes severe, people tend to become less active," he said. "But as you become less active, you gain weight, contributing to the progression of the disease."

When nonsurgical treatments prove insufficient, joint-replacement surgery is generally the best option, Klippel said. "We should not underestimate the importance of total joint replacement," he said. "For millions of people like Coach K, it has given their lives back."

Krzyzewski, who is now a paid consultant to a maker of prosthetic joints, couldn't agree more. "When I think back to what would have happened if I hadn't had the surgery, I realize all the things I would never have been able to accomplish, whether it's winning a national championship or being part of a gold-medal experience. I don't have any limitations now," he said.

More information

To learn more about osteoarthritis, visit the Arthritis Foundation.

SOURCES: Mike Krzyzewski, head coach, men's basketball team, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; John H. Klippel, M.D., president and CEO, the Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Boot Camp for New Dads to Hold Master Coach Certification Training in Denver October 2-3, 2009
2. 12 Local Athletes and Coaches Chosen for U.S. Wheelchair Basketball Team
3. San Diego Firm Offers Free Seminar on Becoming a Professional Health Coach
4. eMindful Offers Employers Complete Set of Wellness Tools - Partnership with Online Health Coaching Service Rounds Out Health Package
5. "Don't Play with the Flu"™ Campaign to Coach Families on Playing Defense Against Seasonal Flu
6. Barilla(R) and Celebrity Fitness Coach Bob Greene Challenge Americans to Discover the Great Taste of Whole Grain
7. TrainingPeaks Selected As "Official Training Software" Of Bike MS And Joe Friel Selected As The "Official Coach"
8. Roche Diabetes Care Announces Unique Coaching Program for Diabetes Educators as Part of Long-Term Commitment to Fight the Disease
9. New Study Shows Coaching to Patient Activation Levels Improves Disease Management Outcomes
10. New Study Shows Coaching to Patient Activation Levels Improves Disease Management Outcomes
11. Alere Introduces Industrys First 12-month Unlimited Health Coaching Program
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ME (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Royal ... reports a new study that found post-menopausal women who took the nutritional supplement creatine, ... than women who trained but did not take creatine. , The report is part ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... is the first health care provider in the region to offer the vBloc® Therapy ... vagal blocking therapy, delivered via the Maestro® System, for the treatment of adult patients over ... to 45 kg, or a BMI of at least 35 to 39.9 kg with a ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... oncology and hematology continuing medical education (CME), today announced that the first annual ... Hyatt New York. , “The prevention, detection and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers are ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Califia Farms , ... that its iconic bottle has won top honors in Beverage World Magazine’s Global Packaging ... also announced that it has been selected as a 2015 U.S.A. Taste Champion in ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... there are professionals who believe that with innovative technologies and under the right ... patient to get the benefit of a dual-approach to his or her therapeutic ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015  Athletic apparel company Tommie Copper ... pay $1.35 million to settle Federal Trade Commission ... compression clothing would relieve severe and chronic pain ... Tommie Copper,s proposed settlement ... its founder and chairman Thomas Kallish ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... and PITTSBURGH , Dec. ... announced that it expects to be the first to ... funded by international donors, TLE400 (Tenofovir Disoproxyl Fumarate 300 ... for $99 per patient, per year. Mylan partnered with ... The significantly reduced price could generate savings of tens ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Virginia , 1 de diciembre de ... en tecnología para cuchillas de precisión, develó ... programa de identidad de marca. El nuevo ... el diseño y la ingeniería de productos ... la diferencia". ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: