Now for the younger folks
Late last year, Laura Just had right-hip replacement surgery. She knew it was time. She was unable to do her yoga, Pilates, bike rides, and even had trouble walking up and down the Strand.
"I felt much older than I was," says Just. "After one day of skiing in Mammoth, I was barely able to walk back to the condo. I thought I was stuck for the rest of my life without being able to do my favorite activities."
Dr. Shrader performed Just’s surgery using an anterior approach (versus posterior). This meant cutting through the front of the hip rather than the back or side—avoiding cutting through the healthy glute muscle.
"It allowed me an amazing recovery time. I was walking the same day of surgery," says Just. She was walking up stairs only 12 hours post-surgery and was released from the hospital in just 48 hours.
Dr. Shrader says that patients may be hesitant to see a surgeon, thinking that the doctor may recommend surgery right away. He notes that certainly there are cases where a patient’s joint condition is so extreme that the only option at that point may be surgery. However, some patients can be treated with other modalities first, such as physical therapy, medications and injections.
Many times patients ask him, "How will I know if it’s time to have surgery?" He replies to them, "You'll know when it’s time." It becomes a quality of life issue—for example, when a patient can no longer walk.
"If your quality of life is altered and you're missing out on activities due to a bad hip, don’t wait!" advises Just. "I no longer feel left out of conversations about sports or activities with the many active folks living in the South Bay. This is a 30-year-hip. I have regained a full life with it."
Excerpt from "The Replacements"; Carole Jakucs; Pulse Magazine; Winter 2014.