Reno mom and DJ finds hip pain relief through Dr. Dolan’s care

If you’ve ever heard Connie Wray on the radio during her morning air shift on Alice@96.5, you know her passion for life practically radiates through the airwaves.

But that level of joy was not always so obvious in her daily life, as she struggled with debilitating pain for many years.

“Basically, I suffered from severe hip pain, which slowly got worse and worse over the course of about three years,” she explains. “It got to the point where I couldn’t do much of anything without being in excruciating pain.”

But the most obvious reflection of the physical pain was the emotional turmoil of not being able to be the mom she wanted to be to her daughter, Story, now 4 years old.

“It got to the point where I couldn’t even pick her up,” she recalls. “It was awful. No mom should ever be in a position to not be able to hold her baby.”

She had visited a spine specialist, and after a steroid injection, found little relief; until, that is, she got a referral to Dr. Dolan at Great Basin Orthopaedics.

“It’s amazing to me, because until then, a few different doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me,” she says. “But then I literally walked in to Dr. Dolan’s office, he looked at my MRI results, and he diagnosed me right then and there with bone spurs.”

Wray, who has lived in Reno for 15 years, is an avid athlete and fitness buff. She says her injury was likely the cause of a combination of genetics (her mom was susceptible to bone spurs, she says), childbirth, exercise — and the Tough Mudder.

“Yeah, I train a lot,” she laughs. “I know I probably made this worse on myself. But I truly enjoy being active.”

From her very first experience with Dr. Dolan, she felt like she was in good hands.

“He was so honest and supportive, totally up front about the fact that I needed surgery, but so reassuring and told me this was definitely fixable,” she says. “He said he could give me my life back. My husband was with me for that first appointment, and when we left, we both knew we had found someone who could help me.”

She was scheduled for outpatient surgery, but the procedure proved more challenging than anticipated. In addition to the bone spurs, Wray had a significant amount of calcium build-up, which had to be removed, as well as a cyst in her bone. 

“After surgery, he described finding the cyst and this crazy amount of calcium around the joint of the femur,” she says. “My surgery took three hours instead of an hour and a half. I’m still shocked to learn all that he did — especially because he did it all through two small pinholes in my leg.”

She describes her recovery as challenging but speedy.

“Every time I was in that office, it was such a positive experience,” she says. “I had such an amazing time with the nurses, with Dr. Dolan. You know, he’s a 49er fan, and I’m a Seahawk girl — so he totally used our playful competition to inspire my recovery.”

She describes a similar plight that then-Seahawk Percy Harvin was enduring at about the same time as Wray’s recovery.

“He’d use stories about Percy Harvin to drive me,” she remembers. “He related with me by talking about this professional athlete, which inspired me. He’d talk about the bumps in the road, the frustration, and how it was common. But he kept reminding me that when you take bone out, it has to grow back, which is a process.”

Once Wray was officially released from Dr. Dolan’s care, she said she felt a slight sense of loss.

“I said to him, ‘You mean, I can’t come in for motivational speeches every month?’” she laughs.

Now, Wray is back at the gym, but this time, doing work that is slightly more appropriate given her recent surgery.

“Because I now know I’m susceptible to bone spurs and have arthritis, I have to change it up just a little – I’m not pushing tractor tires around anymore!”

But what she is doing: taking Story to the park, doing “Mommy and me” yoga with her beautiful daughter and — yes — holding her.

“I really can't say enough about Dr. Dolan,” Wray says. “He totally gave me my life back!”

For more information about how the doctors of Great Basin Orthopaedics can help you return to life, call 775-786-1600. Click here to learn more about Dr. Dolan and his specialties.