My first hip surgery occurred when I was 6 years old to reconstruct a birth abnormality. The nature of the surgery limited my physical activity and the range of motion in my hip, thus playing on the playground equipment or participating with other kids in sports was more challenging. I had to learn how to adapt my physical abilities in order to participate in activities at a minimal intensity. The surgery was not able to correct the leg length discrepancy which caused a slight limp when I walked.
As the next 25 years went on, the arthritis in my hip increased and would make the easiest activities like getting dressed and putting on shoes and socks more difficult. As a teacher, standing on my feet and moving around the classroom all day left me extremely physically tired, with back pain, and stiffness in my hip by the end of the day. I would take pain relievers almost daily and would have to sit at my desk if it got to be too challenging. With the arthritis getting worse, I could tell if it was going to rain days in advance and on rainy days my hip joint was very stiff and painful. I would try to exercise with low impact activities like riding a bike or using an elliptical machine to relieve the pain, but that would result in more soreness and stiffness the following day. Even simple activities like taking a walk around the block was short lived as I would start to feel my hip tightening up halfway through the walk and I would lose energy very quickly.
After years of living with limitations and pain, I made the decision that it was time to have corrective surgery. I had my hip replacement surgery on year ago with Dr. Clohisy and I could feel the positive results right away. I was no longer in pain and had a greater range of motion in my hip joint. When I returned to teaching after my recovery, I noticed right away that at the end of the school day I did not have back pain, I wasn’t sitting as often, and my hip was not stiff. I have not taken a pain reliever for the arthritis or hip pain since the surgery. Dr. Clohisy was able to correct my leg length discrepancy which has remedied my limp. The first time it rained… I didn’t know days in advance, I had to watch the weather reports instead. I can take walks around the block for a longer duration and do not get tired or stiff. Of course there will be some physical limitations, but I will learn to adapt as I did as a child, but this time it is pain and arthritis free. With a more efficient hip joint, I am looking forward to the greater possibilities for a more active lifestyle.
I would like to thank Dr. Clohisy and his time for providing excellent care before, during, and after the surgery procedure. It made a very intimidating situation a little less frightening.