Laura's Story

By Laura Hegwer

Laura Hegwer is a freelance health care writer based in Lake Bluff, Illinois. She has more than 25 years of experience writing for patients, physicians and health care executives.

On Labor Day weekend in 2019, I had planned a short hike with a friend to see a waterfall in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. But I had to cut our trek short because of burning, gnawing pain in my groin that radiated around my right hip and down the front of my thigh — the same kind of pain I’d been having off and on for a year. 

Embarrassed, I apologized to my friend as I limped back to her car, blaming my pain on what I thought was a stubborn workout injury. I resolved to find an answer when I returned home to Chicago.

To the outside world, I seemed strong and fit. I lifted weights with a personal trainer twice a week and rode my Peloton bike regularly. I was a healthy weight, and I didn’t smoke. My chronic pain was mostly invisible, except when I had to admit to others that I was in too much agony to walk, climb stairs or stand for too long — activities that most people my age could do painlessly.

Choosing outpatient robotic hip replacement

After I met with four hip surgeons at different hospitals in the Chicago area, Rush became my top choice. 

I had worked in communications at Rush in the 1990s, so I knew it was one of best orthopedic hospitals in the U.S. I chose my surgeon, Denis Nam, MD, MSc, because he had an excellent reputation and belonged to select group of surgeons in the country offering robotic-assisted hip replacement.

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