Marlene, Age 68
Bilateral Total Hip Replacements
As she reflects on the years leading up to her hip replacements, Marlene recalls that:
“My hips began hurting me when I fell down a flight of stairs seven years before my first hip replacement.”
Her right hip was replaced first in 2010. Following that hip replacement, Marlene underwent only home based physical therapy. She performed basic exercises and gait training per her surgeon’s instructions. During the subsequent year, she began experiencing significant increased left hip pain.
“Basically having to propel my left leg forward caused it to degenerate at quite a rapid rate.”
Marlene was having problems with every movement. She received chiropractic treatments and massage on a regular basis but continued to experience significant pain. She remembers taking as few steps as necessary, unable to enjoy taking walks with her grandchildren, and unable to continue general exercise to maintain her weight and physical health.
“I call it the law of diminishing expectations. First you’re upset that you can’t take a long walk. Then you’re upset that you can’t climb the stairs comfortably. Then you’re upset you can’t get from sit to stand comfortably. Then you’re upset you can’t sit or lie without pain.”
Marlene explains that the changes occurred so gradually that she became unaware of just how debilitated she had become. Her friends remarked that they would cringe to watch her walk. Ultimately, she had her left hip replaced as well.
Following the second hip replacement, Marlene’s surgeon advised her to get “out into the world” as soon as possible. He prescribed outpatient physical therapy to begin four days following her surgery. Marlene scheduled her physical Therapy at Blaser Physical Therapy and was delighted in her choice immediately upon her first visit. She especially appreciated the obvious “preparation, care, concern, and competency of the Blaser PT staff.”
“My physical therapist was thorough and generous in her praise and encouragement. I felt very comfortable and accepted. During subsequent visits I was given the same experience.”
Within one week of treatment at Blaser Physical Therapy, Marlene was encouraged to progress towards normalcy and walk without her cane due to her capabilities. She remembers feeling “elated and empowered!” For the first time she felt like there was an ability to get back to normal. It was like an “epiphany.”
The last phase of physical therapy was tedious work on improving her balance. Marlene was not happy at first to continue through this final phase but her physical therapist explained the importance of perfecting her ability to avoid falls. She stuck with her rehabilitation to the end and now reflects that the attention to balance ended up being much appreciated and necessary.
Currently, Marlene is back to her full time “retired” schedule as a mediator working part time hours in the office and a full time schedule outside of work. She says that she is pain free and feeling better than ever since her hip replacements. Even her family and friends remark that they didn’t think they would ever see her walk normally again and now she does.