I am an opera singer and a PhD researcher. I have traveled around the world. I have always been very active and physically fit, jogging, doing ballet, yoga and Pilates. My husband is also a scientist, is on the faculty at William and Mary and also works at Jefferson Labs.
I have seen Dr. Jeffrey Carlson personally and he has treated my family for years. He replaced joints in both of my parents and done spine surgery on my mother to treat her after falls. He did arthroscopic knee surgery on me in 2013.
I came to see Dr. Carlson in 2017 because I had horrible hip bursitis which was causing me a great deal of pain. We had gone to the WWII Commemoration ceremony in Pennsylvania and my hip was tormenting me after that trip. I told him that I had a pulled muscle in a BodyFlow class at Riverside Wellness. Dr. Carlson looked at me and said “Linda, you need a new hip”. After he gave me a steroid injection into my hip bursa, Dr. Carlson referred me to Dr. John Burrow, a joint replacement specialist at OSC. Dr. Burrow does intra-articular hip injections and Dr. Carlson said that might help me.
Because I am a researcher, I gave Dr. Burrow the third degree about everything he was doing. He performed the intra-articular hip injection, which placed steroids and numbing medication directly into my hip joint. I wouldn’t say that I had a lot of pain from my deteriorating hip joint, but I did start to notice a loss of function and that it would “catch” when I was getting up from a chair. At the end of October, I started to notice a weakness when I would go up and down steps, like I could not push off on the foot on the side where my hip was bad. I started having to take the steps one by one, which I did not like doing.
I came back to see Dr. Burrow and he took another set of x-rays, which indicated that, while not yet bone-on- bone, my hip was rapidly getting worse. Dr. Burrow was concerned and told me that I should probably get my hip replaced before my cartilage eroded much further. I decided to schedule the surgery for the 2nd of January.
Over the Christmas holiday, I had out-of-town company to visit and stay. While decorating the house and entertaining my guests, I noticed that I was getting slower and slower with my hip problem. I knew that I had made the right decision to have the surgery.
I had the surgery as scheduled and spent one night at Mary Immaculate Hospital. I wanted to go home the same day, but Dr. Burrow made me stay due to my low blood pressure, the lateness of the surgery and because the surgery took a while to complete. The reason the surgery took longer is because Dr. Burrow said I had “young bones” and he had to use a much smaller implant stem in my femur. After the surgery and recovery, I was up and walking that evening. I used a walker and had a nurse or PT with me, when I walked around the hospital floor or to the restroom.
The next day, I went home to recover. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the worst, I would say that my pain was a 2.5. If I felt like I needed to do so, I took a Tylenol to supplement the pain medicine. Over nine days, I took an average of 2.4 pain pills a day. Not bad.
The Physical Therapist came to my house the next day. They commented on how I was “carrying” the walker instead of using it. So, they let me switch immediately to using a cane for support during recovery. I think because I have always been fit and worked out that I seemed to recover more quickly. I would recommend that anyone try to work out and get in shape as much as possible before they have a hip replacement. It will make their recovery easier.
I am right at two weeks and I am doing great. I don’t use any assistive device to walk and I am doing well. I look forward to being active and returning to the gym. I am very grateful for Dr. Burrow and his expertise in doing my hip replacement.
Linda Louise Kelley
Newport News, VA