Losing 100 pounds is a resolution Vicki Nelson, 59, Davenport, vowed to keep after two hip replacement surgeries relieved the arthritic pain and got her moving again.
“The pain started in my mid-50s and I thought, ‘Wait, I’m too young for this,’” recalls Vicki, now retired. “I used to walk a path around Arsenal Island at lunchtime, but the pain forced me to use a cane and handicapped parking. I knew it was time to make a change.”
Vicki’s physician, ORA total joint surgeon, Dr. Matthew Lindaman, found significant arthritis in both of Vicki’s hips. “We see advanced arthritis, along with joint wear and tear, even in young patients like Vicki, partially due to heredity, weight, and other factors,” he explains. “These patients are in a catch-22: they are often in so much pain, they can’t exercise; and if they can’t exercise, they can’t lose weight or ease the strain on their hips and knees. In Vicki’s case, it’s gratifying to see how her double hip replacement paved the way to get her life back with exercise.”
Dr. Lindaman notes there is a strong connection between orthopedic health and weight. A 2014 study by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) revealed how obesity plays a role in patient health — before and after surgery. The report found that weight is a risk factor for pain, such as arthritis, and that excess weight can put added pressure on joints. Obesity also has been linked to a greater likelihood of musculoskeletal injuries, as well as surgical complications. “Weight is definitely a factor before and after surgery, and I always counsel patients to consider weight reduction in order to ensure successful, long-term outcomes and a better quality of life,” he says.
For Vicki, her total hip replacements have remade her. “After my surgeries, I made getting my body back a priority. I hired a personal trainer, lost 100 pounds, participated in my first 5K, and still train five days a week at the Scott County YMCA. There is no magic pill: just move more and eat less.”
Advancements in Total Joint Surgery
Vicki’s quick recovery is due, in part, to advancements in total joint replacement. The surgical techniques, as well as the total joint replacement components are designed to meet the demands of active patients like Vicki. “A total hip replacement involves removing all the damaged bone and cartilage within the joint, and replacing them with a new prosthetic implant,” explains Dr. Lindaman. “The new hip joint, consisting of a metal cup in the patient’s hip socket, along with a metal stem in the patient’s femur with a ball attached, allows the patient to regain a smooth and fluid range of motion.”
Each year, ORA leads the Quad Cities in total joint procedures, performing approximately 1,900 total joint replacements annually. Dr. Lindaman, who has been performing total joint and hip replacements for 14 years, says advances have reduced pain, hospital stays, and recovery time. “The technology for these newer implants is helping to extend their use for 20 or 30 years and is making a big difference in people’s lives. It is gratifying to see patients like Vicki regain her active lifestyle,” he says.
“Dr. Lindaman was wonderful, and I was so surprised at how fast I recovered,” adds Vicki. “I feel so much better now. People are afraid to get the surgeries, but the procedures are nothing compared to the pain I was experiencing before surgery.” Vicki is now planning on a dream trip to England and Wales that will include a visit to Liverpool. “I’m a big Beatles fan, and I now can walk all over Britain and feel great.”
For more information on ORA Orthopedics and its Total Joint Center of Excellence, log on to www.qcora.com and for ORA events and patient success stories, follow ORA on Facebook.