Local College Baseball Coach Undergoes Surgery to Get Back in the Game

Mike Kennedy, head baseball coach at Elon University

Mike Kennedy, head baseball coach at Elon University. Photo courtesy of Elon Sports Information Department.

Over the course of two years Mike Kennedy of Burlington, NC, experienced constant pain in his right hip. As the head baseball coach at Elon University he was having trouble doing his job. Simple things like getting into various positions he was trying to show his players were difficult and painful. Mike decided he needed to make a change before the start of his eighteenth season as coach.

Mike, being only 45 years old, thought he was too young to need a hip replacement. However, his active past playing baseball, including time as a minor-league catcher, running for exercise and maintaining an active lifestyle, in combination with his size (6’-2”, 210 pounds), may have led to his hip’s early deterioration.

Mike visited Scott Kelley, MD, orthopaedic surgeon with North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic, to find out what his options were for managing his hip pain. Dr. Kelley explained he needed surgery, but that Mike would know when it was time. He had tried Cortisone shots with some relief, but his hip finally told him it was time andMike had it replaced June 9, 2014. “It started restricting my everyday life because I’m active on the baseball field. If I had a desk job I might have waited longer, but for what I do I need to be able to move.”

While a hip replacement is a serious procedure Mike wasn’t uneasy before his surgery because Dr. Kelley came highly recommended. “I knew a couple people who had surgery by him before so I wasn’t nervous coming in.”

According to Mike, “Pre-op went fine. Dr. Kelley and his physician’s assistant Jamey (Messersmith) came in to check on me, Anesthesia came and then I woke up on the unit. The people at Duke Regional were nice, and the care was outstanding. I had surgery at 8 a.m., finished around 10 a.m. and was up walking by 1:30 p.m. The next day I had physical therapy, passed the test for discharge and was sent home. I only spent a little over 24 hours in the hospital.”

Mike’s first week after surgery was admittedly rough and included pain and stiffness. But since then, he has been getting better and better. He has been back to work watching games and feels close to normal. He’s also participating in outpatient physical therapy to help with his recovery.

Mike hopes to be back to his old self in eight months to a year. Just in time to add another winning season for the Elon University baseball team to the record books.

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