My life was changed in the summer of 2009 when – after decades of pain – Dr. John Clohisy performed two total hip replacements six weeks apart. My congenital condition went undiagnosed until February of the same year when Dr. Devyani Hunt, a young Washington University School of Medicine orthopedist, listened carefully to my symptoms and made the correct diagnosis through an MRI scan. I’ll never forget the day she called to tell me that I had severe osteoarthritis in both hips and that surgery was the only way to end my constant pain. She recommended that I make an appointment with Dr. Clohisy because, she said, he’s “the best.” It’s certainly unnerving to contemplate major surgery, but my fears were calmed when I met Dr. Clohisy. His kindness was immediately apparent. From that first meeting until my last follow-up appointment, I felt that his whole team was personally invested in my care and well being. Dr. Clohisy and Madelyn Curry, his exceptional nurse coordinator, took the time to answer all of my questions both before and after surgery. I attended Madelyn’s extremely helpful and informative “ hip class” where I learned about pre-operative exercises, how to use the post-op equipment , what to expect in the hospital and beyond. The pre- and post-op informational brochure was also filled with common questions/answers, exercise diagrams, helpful phone numbers, etc. Knowing what to expect – and knowing that someone was always there – was extremely reassuring.
I didn’t originally plan on having my surgeries six weeks apart. But within hours of my first operation, I knew I was feeling post-surgical pain…not the deep, grinding, unrelenting pain that I had come to accept as part of life. Within a matter of a few weeks, my “new” hip felt infinitely better than the one yet to be operated on. I received excellent in-home care from both a physical therapist and a home health care nurse. I did my exercises and was fortunate to have a quick recovery after both procedures. My only regret is that I didn’t cross paths with Dr. Clohisy when I was much younger. I’ve said many times that he didn’t save my life -but he did give me back my life – a dramatically improved one, finally free of pain. I continue to be grateful every day.