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Jane Kaczmarek: From a Pain in the Groin to a Hip Woman

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Jane Kaczmarek, who played Lois, the hard-nosed and embarrassing mother on FOX's Malcolm in the Middle, has joined the cast of the new NBC sitcom Whitney, where she plays, you guessed it, another outspoken mother.

But what you might not have guessed is that toward the end of Malcolm, Jane was experiencing excruciating groin pain. She kept thinking she would wake up one day and it would be gone. Instead the pain got so bad that Jane would gather all the things she needed every morning and take them downstairs so that she wouldn't have to climb the stairs again until she went to bed. "[A]s so many mothers and working women do, you just keep pushing yourself beyond your limits," she told me.

It turned out Jane, in her late forties at the time, suffered from osteoarthritis, a condition , she found, that did not get her off jury duty, even with a note from the doctor, she joked. Jane's not sure how she developed osteoarthritis at such a young age, considering that she isn't particularly athletic. (Osteoarthritis is caused by the wearing down of a joint and occurs in some athletes.) Eventually, Jane had both hips replaced, several years apart.

Jane is now playing the role of spokesperson for the Anatomy of Movement, educating the public on osteoarthritis and hip replacement surgery as a possible treatment.