Lori is an active, 58-year-old woman who loved walking, gardening, and dancing to stay in shape. However, in the summer of 2016, she started to notice a dull, aching pain in her hip when she walked. She was stiff as she got out of bed or after she had been sitting for a long time. Gradually she started to experience more pain in her hip/groin region and her leg started to give way when she was walking.
“I had never fallen on my hip or had any injuries,” Lori said. “The pain just started gradually coming on and getting worse over the years. I used to walk 6 miles a day but now my hip hurt so bad that I couldn’t make it around the block.”
Lori was no longer able to enjoy her normal activities because of the pain. Bending over to work the garden was excruciating and dancing was out of the question. After suffering for 2 years, Lori finally set up an appointment with Dr. Blake Gillette.
The Diagnosis – Degenerative Osteoarthritis of the Hip
When Dr. Gillette examined Lori, he found that she had degenerative osteoarthritis of her hip. Her x-rays showed that there was a loss of joint cartilage, narrowing of the joint space between bones, and bone spur formation.
Osteoarthritis symptoms include pain in the affected joint during or after movement, joint stiffness, tenderness, loss of flexibility, and a grating sensation with movement. Lori was experiencing all these symptoms.
Dr. Gillette’s main goal in treating Lori was to improve her standard of living and her ability to get around without pain. Because Lori had already tried non-surgical options, such as rest, using a cane to take the weight off of the affected hip, anti-inflammatory medications, and steroid injections, Dr. Gillette and Lori decided hip replacement surgery would be the best course of action.
Hip Replacement Surgery
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket mechanism with the ball located at the top of the thigh bone. Hip replacement surgery involves replacing the painful joint with an artificial joint made from metal and plastic components. The damaged ball is replaced with a metal ball and the hip socket is resurfaced using a metal shell and a plastic liner.
Lori was up to the task when it came to doing what it took to get her mobility back. Her physical therapist helped her learn how to use a walker during the afternoon of the surgery. As therapy progressed, she was able to increase the weight she put on her leg until she was able to walk without assistance. She resumed most of her normal routine activities within the first 2 to 3 weeks. The next 3 to 6 months of recovery and physical therapy focused on returning motion to the joint and strengthening the surrounding muscles.
It’s been over a year since Lori’s surgery. She continues to incorporate healthy exercise into her daily routine. She has learned that low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, golfing, and bicycling are very beneficial to patients recovering from joint replacement surgery. She avoids activities that involve impact on the joints, such as jogging or jumping.
“Dr. Gillette, Blaine, and V are amazing. I have recommended Dr. Gillette to several family members and would highly recommend him to anyone living with pain. I was confident in everything he did for me and I’m very pleased with the outcome. I am grateful that I can do the things I want to do again, including dancing around the kitchen with my husband,” said Lori.
Schedule an Appointment
To learn more about Dr. Gillette, click this link. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gillette, call (801) 894-1344.
By Debbie Gordon
Canyon View Medical Group