Jane Danielson is making plans for a trip to Great Britain. This is no ordinary vacation. The walking tour, scheduled for May, would have been impossible a year ago. Pain from a deteriorating hip brought this avid runner and cyclist to a standstill.
The pain grew steadily worse over time. For a while, it was manageable and surgery wasn't immediately necessary. She was even able to take a cycling tour of Vienna, but the final two days of walking along cobble stone streets were extremely difficult.
"All I can remember," she says, "is that the pain got worse and worse."
Brian McGrory, MD, a surgeon with Orthopaedic Associates, says arthritis of the joint is a very common problem, with many helpful treatments.
"The goals are to reduce pain and increase motion of the affected joint, and in doing so increase your activities and quality of life," he says.
Management of a painful joint can often be accomplished through non-surgical measures such as activity modification, weight loss, medications, use of walking aids such as a cane, and physical therapy.
"These treatments may be very helpful, and may be of assistance for years," says Dr. McGrory. "If they do not control your symptoms, that's when surgery should be considered."
Jane underwent anterolateral hip replacement surgery at the Joint Replacement Center at Maine Medical Center in May 2010. The innovative procedure involves a smaller incision and a different approach to the hip joint, allowing the surgeon to cut less muscle. As a result, Jane was back home less than 24 hours after surgery. She closely followed the instructions of her surgeon, George Babikian, MD, as well as her nurses and physical therapists, which, combined with her physical activity prior to surgery, helped to speed her recovery.
Today, Jane is back on her bike and feels like she has the same mobility she had five years ago, before the pain began. She has returned to regular walks with friends and their dogs.
"A year ago, I couldn't keep up," she remembers. "It's just a joy to be able to walk again." The benefits of surgery go far beyond the ability to walk, bike, and ski again. "When one has pain, one feels dragged down, not only physically," Jane says. "There's a greater fatigue. Mentally, I feel so much more energetic now."
Be an Informed Patient
At Maine Medical Center, we believe that the better prepared a patient is for surgery, the better the outcome. That's why we've partnered with EMMI Solutions to provide interactive, animated videos about several surgical procedures.
These web-based programs provide easy-to-understand information about what to expect before, during, and after surgery. Patients can view the programs at their own pace from their home computer.
Maine Medical Center currently offers patient education programs for the following procedures:
The Joint Replacement Center
• Hip Replacement Surgery
• Knee Replacement Surgery
• Shoulder Replacement Surgery
The Bariatric Surgery Program
• Gastric Bypass Surgery for Weight Loss
• Lap Band Surgery for Weight Loss
To learn more, visit:
http://www.mmc.org/jrc or http://www.mmc.org/bariatricsurgery