Mind and Body

Actress Overcomes Osteoarthritis

You may know actress Jane Kaczmarek for her starring role on FOX’s “Malcolm in the Middle.” But, you may not be aware that behind the scenes, Kaczmarek had a painful struggle with osteoarthritis, a condition that affects one in every five Americans, and is the leading cause for disability in this country. 

For several years Kaczmarek lived with excruciating hip pain, dreading the most simple of tasks, like going up stairs or having to walk down a long hallway. 

“I didn't really know what it was at first. I knew I couldn't sleep at night. I would wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep with terrible pain and I had groin pain, which I didn't associate with it,” said Kaczmarek.

It wasn’t until she was forced to pass on a big movie offer that she realized it was time to deal with the problem once and for all.

“On Malcom, I was kind of walking from doorknob to countertop, I would try to figure out how I could get from A to B in little spurts before the camera could notice that I was limping as bad as I was.”

Kaczmareck went to her doctor to discuss what she could do for her pain.

“They said that my hip sockets were shallow. My father has had both of his replaced, many people in his family have. So I wasn't surprised.” Kaczmarek remembered.

Motivated to get back to a career and lifestyle that she loved, she opted to undergo hip replacement surgery.

“I was amazed by how it's basically an hour, hour and a half operation. They get you up the same day. You know I was on a walker for maybe two weeks, crutches for a week and that's it,” said Kaczmarek.

Weeks after her surgery, and following a rehabilitation program, Kaczmarek returned to a pain free routine and without hesitation was back on the TV set, taking on new and exciting roles, including her most recent appearance on the new FX series “Wilfred.”

Now to help others who may also suffer from chronic joint pain, Kaczmarek joined forces with DePuy Orthopaedics to launch the Anatomy of Movement Experience and share her journey and personal experience with hip replacement surgery. 

“I didn't know what these symptoms were. I waited way to long with this one (left hip) to have it fixed. I've had such great experiences with these hip replacements. I mean they really gave me a lease on life.” said Kaczmarek. 

The Anatomy of Movement Experience is an exhibit designed to educate people about the anatomy of the leg, joint disease including osteoarthritis, and joint replacement options for severe hip and knee pain. People who visit the Anatomy of Movement Experience at health expos across the country can walk through a 30-foot model of the human leg, interact with hip and knee joint models, talk with experts about hip and knee pain, take a self assessment quiz to help start a conversation with a doctor about treatment options and speak with patients about their experiences with joint replacement.

For more information go to www.anatomyofmovementexperience.com