Patient Success Stories
Alfreda R. Young, May 2016
In 2008, I began feeling stiffness in my right hip while walking or standing after sitting for periods of time. Also, I felt sporadic pain (sharp and shooting). But my mobility and flexibility were pretty much normal. My primary care physician explained that my X-rays showed some inflammation (osteoarthritis). He sent me to physical therapy for 4 weeks. I had started practicing yoga a few years before, and my doctor told me to continue practicing yoga, in fact, he encouraged me to get as much physical exercise as possible.
For six years, I practiced yoga often, began getting Thai-yoga massages, went swimming two to three times a week, took dance classes, and worked out with a trainer. I stayed active. I also had regular chiropractic adjustments.
I researched osteoarthritis and how yoga (including meditation and breathing exercises) could help to address the issues I was having with my hip. I geared my personal practice toward poses that would help me to maintain my flexibility and strength. Yoga, the active lifestyle and chiropractic care helped to alleviate a lot of the joint stiffness and pain I was experiencing.
By the end of 2014, things changed. I had a pronounced limp, the pain was chronic and my yoga practice changed dramatically. Balancing on the right side was difficult, I could only lift my right leg for a few seconds at a time. I ride the Metro to and from work. Sitting and/or standing longer than 5 minutes was painful and walking was a chore.
May 2015, I met with Dr. Colvin Clay Wellborn and X-rays showed that my right hip was externally rotated. After discussing my options, which a total hip replacement was basically the only option, I decided to have the surgery.
Education Before the Surgery and After Surgery
Dr. Wellborn, his staff and the staff at Virginia Hospital Center were fantastic. They ensured that I was fully prepared, providing comprehensive information about joint/hip replacement surgery and the subsequent rehabilitation process. There were pre-surgery consultations, an online class, pre-surgery exercises, diet tips/suggestions, and pain management tools. They even assisted me with completing my paperwork to request Leave Of Absence (LOA) from work. I felt completely prepared.
The surgery was approximately two hours. Three hours after the surgery, I was up walking using a walker. I had occupational therapy the next morning and afternoon to ensure I was able to bathe, dress and undress myself, get around using a walker and/or cane and maneuver steps.
I was released from the hospital about 2 pm the day after surgery, with all of my prescriptions, in-home physical therapy sessions arranged and a list of therapists to contact to arrange out-patient physical therapy when I was ready.
I had very little pain from the surgery. I started in-home physical therapy, two days after surgery. Two weeks after that I had stopped taking pain medications, and I drove myself to my first outpatient physical therapy appointment. My pain level was very low. Even though physical therapy was challenging at times, I was able to use ice packs to manage any minor pain or discomfort.
Six weeks after surgery, I was back riding the Metro to work with no problems. I went back to practicing yoga and dancing and I started water aerobics.
Today, I’m feeling great. The chronic pain is gone, and I no longer walk with a limp. I work out with a personal trainer three times a week, in addition to my other exercise routines. The hip replacement surgery was definitely the right decision for me.
For more patient success stories, click here.