Weeks After Joint Replacement, Tennis Player Dominates Tournament

By Katrina Dupins

The following year, when she noticed pain in her leg while doing certain exercises, she didn’t want to wait too long before doing something about it.

“I noticed the pain when I did running dives off a diving board,” she said. “I would also happen after sitting too long in a chair at work. I looked up doctors at UAMS and saw that Dr. Edwards researched hip surgeries as well as performed them. So I gave him a call.”

Paul Edwards, M.D. is a fellowship-trained hip and knee surgeon and a professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Edwards and Perry went over her goals and took a closer look at what was limiting her range of motion.

“We did x-rays and quickly saw she had osteoarthritis which is a collapse of the joint space,” Edwards said. “The cushioning of the hip joint had worn away and it can be painful.”

Perry visits Edwards in his clinic on Shackleford Road.

Perry visits Edwards in his clinic on Shackleford Road.Katrina Dupins

It’s sometimes referred to bone-on-bone arthritis, Edwards said. Non-surgical methods like physical therapy and medication had not worked for Perry. She decided with her surgeon to have a total hip replacement. The operation was in May 2016.

“In this case, the procedure was less invasive because we did not cut through muscle,” Edwards said. “I made an incision in the top of the thigh and separated the muscle. Working in between two muscle planes, I removed the worn out femoral head and placed a metal titanium stem that goes down into the thigh bone, or the femur. Then I put in a cup that goes into the pelvis side.”

Perry prepares to hit the ball.

Perry prepares to hit the ball.

Because her muscles were not cut, Perry recovered quickly. She was on her feet the day after surgery. It wasn’t long before she was able to regain her strength and speed onto the tennis court.

Perry and her partner participated in a summer tennis tournament just nine weeks after her surgery and won their two matches.

“Being able to get back to my fitness level nine weeks after my hip replacement was amazing,” Perry said.

Perry is part of a local tennis league in Little Rock and plays on several teams in the central Arkansas area.

She gets in as many matches as she can and says she’d play every night of the week if time allowed.