Friday, June 1, 2012

Best-Selling Author Ellyn Spragins Releases "Had I Known Then," A Collection Of Letters From Former Joint Pain Sufferers To Their Younger Selves

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SOURCE DePuy Orthopaedics

Letters Offer Hope from Those Who Have Had a Hip or Knee Replacement, Including Actress Jane Kaczmarek, and Encouragement to Take the Next Step and Regain Their Active Lives

WARSAW, Ind., May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- People suffering from severe hip or knee pain due to osteoarthritis wait, on average, seven to 11 years before undergoing joint replacement surgery.[i] Many people delay hip or knee replacement surgery due to fear, misinformation or a lack of awareness about treatment options. That's why DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. (DePuy) is teaming up with Ellyn Spragins, author of the best-selling "Letters to My Younger Self®" book series to introduce the "Had I Known Then" booklet on joint health.

The booklet features letters from joint replacement patients, including seven-time Emmy®-nominated actress Jane Kaczmarek, to their younger selves to provide encouragement and advice as they contemplate joint replacement surgery. The letters provide remarkable insight on the physical and emotional toll of osteoarthritis and the profound impact joint replacement has on a person's health, well-being and enjoyment of life. To read a copy of the "Had I Known Then" booklet, including Jane's letter to her younger self, please visit

For nearly a decade, Ellyn has worked with hundreds of people, including Maya Angelou, Ann Curry, Suze Orman and Soledad O'Brien, to write letters to their younger selves, reflecting on difficult moments in their lives and sharing the advice they wish they had known at that time. In her latest project, Ellyn is inspiring those suffering from OA to take action and talk to an orthopaedic surgeon about treatment options. In the "Had I Known Then" booklet, Ellyn delves into the hard-won wisdom of joint replacement patients in their journeys to recovery.

"In writing this latest collection of letters, I discovered that few people have reflected on the impact their health has on their lives, and yet our physicality is intimately tied to our emotional well-being. When we are in pain, this not only takes a toll on our ability to do our jobs and pursue activities we love-it also erodes our happiness, relationships and, sometimes, our sense of who we are," said Ellyn. "I hope that these letters will inspire others to learn from these examples and consider the impact that arthritis pain is having on them and their families now and how treatment could affect the course of their lives."

Actress Jane Kaczmarek, who starred on the FOX comedy series "Malcolm in the Middle" and was recently cast onstage as a struggling South Boston single mother in the West Coast revival of "Good People" at the Geffen Playhouse, reached a crossroads in her journey when she realized that she had to choose between her career and her health. At first, she didn't want to accept that her physical symptoms, such as groin pain and trouble sleeping, were a result of pain due to osteoarthritis in her hip. It wasn't until years later, when the pain became so bad that she was forced to turn down a movie role, that she decided enough was enough.

"I understand what it's like to have your life affected by severe joint pain. Amid the craze of a successful career and a growing family, I convinced myself that I had to deal with the pain and take care of everyone else around me. Looking back on my years of hip pain, I was ignoring the distress signals, which compromised not only my health, but also my career and relationships," said Jane. "Choosing to have my hips replaced was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and the decision has changed my life in a big, big way. It was the beginning of a new phase for me. I'm back to doing things that I love, and I am excited to share with others the wisdom I wish I'd had when I was experiencing severe hip pain."

Osteoarthritis: Leading Source of DisabilityThe most frequent cause of severe hip or knee pain is osteoarthritis, a debilitating condition that begins with pain in the affected joint and does not get better with time. If left untreated, osteoarthritis can cause bone deterioration and pose long-term health issues.[ii] It is estimated that one in every five people in the United States has some form of arthritis and that osteoarthritis is one of the most common reasons a person will need a joint replacement.[iii] Hip or knee replacement surgery is an option for people diagnosed with advanced osteoarthritis associated with joint damage, serious limitations in physical mobility and an overall reduced quality of life.

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