It’s totally worth it,” says Laurie Price Blodgett, 48, of her hip replacement at St. Mary’s Joint Replacement Institute.
Being active is a big part of Laurie Price Blodgett’s life. She teaches a fitness class at the YMCA and exercises regularly, so when joint pain began to interfere with her routine, she knew she had to seek help.
The pain would shoot from her hip area through her groin to her knee. “It got progressively worse,” she recalls. “The two most difficult things were walking and sleeping,” she says.
At first, she thought the problem was with her knee, but X-ray images revealed that she had osteoarthritis in her hip. After meeting with orthopedic surgeon David Keller, MD, she scheduled joint replacement surgery for September 12, 2017, at the Joint Replacement Institute at St. Mary’s.
In the weeks leading up to her surgery, she participated in “prehab” which involved doing exercises recommended by her physical therapist to help strengthen the muscles around her joint. The goal, she explains, was to help alleviate the discomfort before the surgery and be better prepared for afterward. She also attended a pre-operative education class at St. Mary’s where she learned what to bring to the hospital and what to expect.
When the day of her surgery came, everything went very well, she says. “The groin pain was gone upon waking from anesthesia,” she recalls. “You could tell the difference right away.” The next challenge, she notes, was “learning how to manipulate this new body part.”
Patients usually have a one-on-one meeting with the physical therapist the morning after surgery and are up and walking that day, Dr. Keller explains. The next morning, they have breakfast with other patients and participate in group therapy. “With the group, we had that common bond and common empathy with each other,” says Blodgett. “I thought it was great.”
She spent just one night in the hospital, and was discharged the next day, after group therapy, to continue her recovery. She used a walker for the first five days, then transitioned to a cane. Three weeks after surgery she was back at work in her office, and two weeks after that she was back to teaching her class at the YMCA.
“She’s a great patient in great shape and is super-motivated,” says Dr. Keller. “Her exercise background helped her,” he notes. Also, all the things that take place around surgery, like prehab, early mobility and setting clear expectations, make a big difference in helping patients achieve optimal outcomes, he says.
“They will help you and guide you and do everything they can for you to have success,” says Blodgett of her experience at the Joint Replacement Institute. Today she’s pain-free and sometimes forgets she had surgery. “It’s like, oh yeah, I have a new hip,” she says. “To me, that’s the best feeling — being able to be me again.”
Are you a candidate for joint replacement surgery?
- Are joint pain problems limiting your daily activities?
- Are non-operative treatments ineffective?
- Does joint pain interfere with sleep?
- Have you been in pain for more than a year?
If you answered "yes" to these questions and had an X-ray showing bone-on-bone in your joint, then you may be a candidate for joint replacement surgery.
Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement
St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement. It has also been named a High Performing Hospital in Knee Replacement by U.S. News & World Report for 2017-18.