Softball Player in Her 30’s Returns to Diamond After Hip Replacement

Tatiana Gipson, 35, a social worker from Chicago, feels the most alive when she is playing competitive softball for the Chicago Flyers (men’s team) and Synergy (women’s team). She enjoys every second traveling across the country playing tournaments with her teammates. To stay competitive and in shape for softball season, Gipson bikes, weight trains and plays racquetball and beach volleyball.

However, she recalls when this active lifestyle didn’t quite feel the same.

One day while playing racquetball, Gipson felt pain in her hip along with a sensation that it was coming out of the socket. She ignored it that day and for days after. But she continued to feel a constant tingling and sharp pain in her hip during work, rest and working out. She sought advice from her doctor who prescribed pain medication, but the discomfort never went away. Gradually, it became worse.

After five years of various unsuccessful treatments for a hip condition that was never truly diagnosed, Tatiana decided to visit Dr. Scott Sporer, a hip and knee specialist at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. After a careful exam and review of her images, Dr. Sporer diagnosed her with advanced osteoarthritis and avascular necrosis (death of tissue due to lack of blood supply) of the hip joint. Gipson recalls Dr. Sporer explaining that “basically the bone in my hip was dead.”

To relieve her pain and get her back to her active life, Dr. Sporer recommended a total hip replacement. Tatiana couldn’t believe it at first, but agreed and jokingly decided to make him her ‘new coach’.

Her joint replacement surgery was very successful and throughout the process, she enjoyed the way that Dr. Sporer was always upbeat, confident and very responsive to all of her questions. “Dr. Sporer is an athlete himself — and works with athletes — so he understood my drive and the need to be active after the hip replacement,” she explains.

The best part of the recovery for Gipson was just four months after surgery when she and her teammates won a softball tournament in Las Vegas. Now back to playing softball fully and traveling again, she feels normal. “Except,” she jokes, “when I go through a metal detector.”

If you would like more information about hip replacement, click here. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Scott Sporer, call 877 MD BONES.