In about 6th grade when she was taking dance classes, Carol Glass’s hips started hurting. By the time she was in 9th grade, the pain in her right hip was so extreme she had to take the elevator at Carver High School.
“Before my surgery, my nickname was Gimp,” said Carol, who is now 18. “Between 6th and 12th grades, I went to about 14 doctors. The last one wanted to send me to a pain clinic,” she said. In fact, Carol was told the pain was in her head, not her hip.
Then she was referred to Allston J. Stubbs, M.D., one of 10 orthopaedic surgeons who are part of the new Hip Center group at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
“Dr. Stubbs said that I had femoroacetabular impingement – I can spell it for you,” Carol said. “Basically my femur did not fit right in the socket. It had gotten so bad that I tore the cartilage in my right hip.”
Last June Stubbs did arthroscopic surgery. “It’s been great. I’m really happy. I’m walking. I’m doing great.” Stubbs had to trim away some of the bone between her hip ball and socket so that it would stop pinching and tearing the cartilage inside her hip. “I also had to repair the cartilage lining the socket by sewing it to the bone,” Stubbs said.
"Carol is typical of a lot of patients who have abnormal mechanics inside their hip joints. She’s also the kind of patient who benefits from the new Hip Center," Stubbs said. The Hip Center includes the collective experience of an entire team of surgeons whose specialties include pediatric orthopaedics, hip dysplasia, femoroacetabular impingement, osteoarthritis, periacetabular osteotomy, sports medicine, free vascularized fibula grafting, and hip replacement, resurfacing and revision.
“We have a team-based approach that ensures the most appropriate treatment for hip complaints. We complement each other,” Stubbs said. “We can do everything, plus we are integrated into the Medical Center system, so if you have diabetes, for example, we can consult with one of our endocrinologists.”
Carol is very happy to be walking normally again. “I need to get the other hip done. I want Dr. Stubbs to do it.”