We people don’t like pain, but it might be true that we hate surgery even more than the pain. Of course, some surgeries are unavoidable such as an appendectomy, coronary bypass surgery, or other life-saving surgery. But today, I’m writing in regards to joint replacement surgery.
Since all surgery has its risks it just makes sense to do everything, within reason, before resorting to surgery. In fact, most Orthopedic surgeons will recommend non-surgical methods, such as physical therapy, cortisone shots, and/or other forms of pain management prior to scheduling surgery.
Recently, four months ago to be more exact, I had total hip replacement surgery. Prior to my surgery I found myself homebound aside from my work duties and other responsibilities. I was wearing myself out working through the pain and trying to sleep with the pain. I realized I was going to have to quit work and possibly many of life’s activities or have surgery. It became a no-brainer and opted for surgery.
I received my titanium hip (good for 40 years which will definitely outlast me) on a Wednesday, was released on Thursday (with no restrictions—other than driving) and returned to work for several hours, with aid of a cane (and my cabby husband) on Friday. Sunday I used my cane in church then promptly discarded it thereafter. I worked 4-5 hours, six days a week, taking a nap every afternoon, until the work load kept me from my nap. Four months later I’m back to my 12-hour work days, and some exercise, but not yet running any 5ks, although the surgeon gave me the green light to resume running.
Within a couple of months I was able to return to my forsaken and abandoned schedule. As my strength, ambition and hope returned I found a smile on my face again and began taking on additional tasks. I am well pleased with my present condition even though I am expected to continue improving for another eight months before reaching my post-operative peak.
If you are putting off joint replacement surgery you should know that surgeons replace knees, hips, and shoulders every day. I’ve been told the hip is the easiest surgery to go through and the knee is the worst, however, 90 percent of people who have knee replacement surgery have a dramatic decrease in knee pain and are better able to do daily activities. The knee is the largest joint in our body and cannot (and will not) be ignored.
I have instructed yoga for the past seven years and had been very flexible. Literally overnight my hip went from an above average range of motion to zero range of motion with severe pain. I’m told that is the way arthritis sometimes works. I sought the help of a physical therapist who after 3-4 visits advised me to get an x-ray, since my range of motion did not improve. The x-ray showed arthritis with bone spurs so I opted for stem cell therapy. When I felt no improvement, in the next couple of months, I followed up with an MRI and discovered the hip was in extremely poor health; necrosis, torn labrum, bone spurs, severe arthritis with virtually no cartilage. I was referred to an Orthopedic surgeon who commended me for exhausting all the non-surgical options (which included cupping and dry needling) but advised that my hip was beyond salvaging. However I already knew that based on the knee pain I had been experiencing, my reliance upon the military belly crawl, and the fact that I was willing to see a surgeon!
For the record I do believe in stem cell therapy, as long as you don’t wait until you’re bone on bone. (In my case I had worn my hip joint/leg down three-eighths of an inch—which was restored during the surgery freeing me from my chronic neck and back pain). I have been following up on people that had the therapy and everyone has seen good results. As for me I chose to have my knee injected along with my hip, since it was only an additional $100 for the second location. Therefore I now allocate the $100 expense to the hip that I had replaced and apply the larger expense of the stem cell therapy towards my knee which, incidentally, feels way better than my other knee.
Why am I telling my story? Without joint replacement surgery I would not have looked forward to much. I am extremely thankful that joint replacement surgeries exist, and that there are so many excellent Orthopedic surgeons in the area: Dr. Kenneth Pohl, Dr. Chad Weber, Dr. Richard Forster, Dr. Ryan Bauman, Dr. Gurpal Ahluwalia, and my surgeon Dr. Michael Welker.
I hope my experience can help others help themselves. I also know money is a huge factor in making the decision to do surgery. For instance my surgery was over $83,000. Without insurance my wallet would have hurt as bad as my hip once did. Insurance is yet another reason for me to be thankful and needs to be part of everyone’s decision making process.
Check out the VHS Musical, “Anything Goes,” tonight at 8 p.m. or Saturday at 3 or 8 p.m., tickets can be ordered by calling Lynda at 526-5276. Also this weekend begins the Darke County Home and Sports Show. Times are: Tonight from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. The free event is held in the Dairy & Beef Pavilion on the north side of the Darke County Fairgrounds. There will be over 110 vendors in and outside. The Waivaires perform at 7 p.m. Friday, and Barbara Rethlake Dance Studio performs at 5:30 on Saturday followed by Spittin Image.
Sunday, April 8 Bessie Barga invites the public to help celebrate her 100th birthday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Brethren Home.
Happy birthday to Orville Bohman, Sandee Detrick, Brad Holzapfel, Kay Holfinger, Ted Blakeley, Boots Groff, Chase Monnin, Donna DeMange, Fred Bruns, Jeremy Riley, Greg Zechar, Joelle York, Todd Dammeyer, Lucy Hole, Deb Kauffman, Dan Bentley, Holly Hill, Kelly Luthman, Paige Collins, Lisa Schemmel, Julie Deeter, Allison Eiting Cox, Rick Voisard, Renee Barga, Marlene Puthoff, Rose Baker, Matthew Knapke, Roxie Earick, Janel Tumbush, Betty Norris, Connie Miller, Angie Ruhenkamp, Jeanne Osterfeld, Michael Schmitmeyer, and Eileen Dapore as their birthdays approach, as well as anniversary wishes to Marcia & Gary Davidson (16), Traci and Chad Monnin (18), Jackie and Dan Kremer (26), Nikki and Dusty Nealeigh (28), Connie and Ted Schmitmeyer (52), Janet and Fred Banks (53), Joan and Bob Ruschau (54), and Rosemary and Floyd Monnin (54).
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the many who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges, and especially for Alice Luthman, Richard Coffield, Dakota Miller, Michelle Sherman, John and Miriam Harman, Dave Magoto, Patricia Borchers, Bob Miller, Iona Gariety, Loretta Bey, Steve Bey, Aiden Myers, Margaret Hoehne, Marcy and Carl Stuck, Lucy Hole, Esther Eiting, Connie Hoehne, Betty Brown, Lisa Zumberger, Lois Knapke, John Davis, Andy Zumberger, Claire Owens, Angie Keiser, Jerry Paulus, Janice Berger, Janet Folkerth, Beverly Brown, Cyril Frantz, Denny Subler, Wanda Romie, Jack Borgerding, Alvira Marchal, Jane and Louie Huber, Earl Gigandet, Pooch Barga, Chris Apple, Ruth Wirrig, Wilma Heiby, Linda Wilson, Carl DeMange, Mary Seman, Marge Prakel, Mary Batty, Norma Magoto, Betty Kremer, Denny Grilliot, Virginia Smith, Anabelle Subler, Lois Youngker, Barb Goubeaux, Eileen Rahm, Cyril Voisard Samantha Smith and those not mentioned by name who are recuperating, hospitalized, homebound and/or in need of our prayers.
Please join me in extending heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of Carl Jenkins (56), Thelma Harshbarger (94), and Paul Marchal (94). Also remembering the lives of Jacquie Renae Kemp, Ronald Bergman, Tecla Heitkamp, Helen Hemmelgarn, Beverly Didier, Carl Teeter, Tony Monnin, Jim Copeland, Cecilia Subler, Bec Arling, Kenny Eiting, Brian Delk, Terry Nieport, Virginia Thomas, Ruth Francis and all those held in our hearts, but not mentioned by name, as the anniversary of their passing nears.
“Are you moving poorly because you’re in pain or are you in pain because you’re moving poorly?” ~Unknown
“Some people wear pain better than others but pain wears us out emotional and physically.” ~S. Amelia
“Your decisions have the power to change your circumstances.” ~ C. Edwards