PATIENT STORY:

Back in Business – and Heels!

“Am I dreaming? Is this really happening?” Melinda thought. She could not believe she was up and walking down the hallway just a few hours after her bilateral hip replacement surgery.

Melinda is a self-proclaimed “office bug”: she enjoys her job. “It’s work; but I love it, so it’s really like a hobby!” she declares.

Her work requires Melinda to travel frequently. She has logged miles maneuvering around airports. However, pain in her hips began to slow her down significantly, even causing her to wobble around. After gritting through the pain for over a year and a half, she knew it was time for a visit to the doctor.

Melinda told her primary care physician, “I’ve got a problem. I can’t wear my heels anymore!” That is another notable quality of Melinda’s. She is passionate about shoes, heels specifically. She has an entire closet dedicated to shoes and bags. At a certain point, Melinda’s pain became so severe that she had to make the switch from heels to sneakers — much to her dismay.

However, this had become much more than a fashion issue. Melinda was in pain all the time. Simply getting in and out of bed and walking around had become chores. Her primary care physician suggested a hip replacement might be necessary and referred her to Dr. Anthony Carter.

“When I met Dr. Carter, I noticed right away he had the same passion for his work as I did. I could tell it was more than just a job to him,” Melinda says.

Melinda’s X-rays revealed that she had severe end-stage arthritis in both of her hips. “This makes it virtually impossible to do daily tasks,” explains Dr. Carter. By the end of their appointment, they had decided that she would have bilateral hip replacement surgery, using the direct anterior approach.

“This muscle-sparing technique is a huge advancement in hip replacement surgery and makes recovery easier and quicker for patients,” explains Dr. Carter.

Melinda’s experience could not have been better. “Everyone was so sweet and caring. They really put my mind at ease,” she observes regarding her nurses and care team.

“He is just the best doctor for hip replacements,” Melinda says of Dr. Carter. “He is truly so special, but he’s very humble.”

After her surgery, Melinda is grateful to be walking normally and living a life free of pain. She is even back to wearing her heels!
“I feel like I am back to my old self, and it’s a dream come true,” Melinda says of her new lease on life.

Melinda credits her amazing results to Dr. Carter’s expertise. “I was bragging about Dr. Carter so much the word spread, and someone from another state called me wondering if he takes out-of-state patients,” Melinda says with a laugh. “I told them to come on over to Virginia, and make an appointment with Dr. Carter!”

“Having a positive outlook is the key to a happy life,” says Susie Dorton, who loves being involved in her church, teaching workshops and crafting. “I have lost two husbands and a son, and it makes you look at life so differently.” Even through life’s most difficult seasons, her positive mindset proves to be a source of inspiration to those around her.

For many years, persistent arthritis in her right knee has threatened to slow Susie down. The constant pain led to many doctor visits and various treatment options. “We first tried conservative treatments to ease the pain of Susie’s arthritis, including a series of cortisone shots and viscosupplement injections,” explained Dr. Swenson. “However, as her arthritis progressed, these methods became less effective. Eventually, the pain became severe enough to make daily tasks difficult.”

Finally, Susie’s surgeon, Dr. Jon Swenson, suggested a total knee replacement as the next step to treat her arthritis. Although she initially had some reservations about the surgery slowing her down, she ultimately knew surgery was the right choice for her. “Dr. Swenson is an angel, and I knew I was in good hands with him. He took his time to explain everything to me, and it is a great comfort to know he is my doctor.”

In August of 2016, Susie had a total knee replacement on her right knee. “We decided on knee replacement because previous treatments failed, and the pain was affecting the quality of her life,” states, Dr. Swenson. “I am extremely proud of her for her excellent recovery.” He adds that Susie demonstrated a positive attitude and motivation to complete post-surgery rehabilitation, both necessary qualities for those having knee replacements.

“Staying busy is what keeps me going, and I wanted to have the kind of life where I can keep doing the things that I love. I chose to have the knee replacement surgery so I can continue having a good quality of life.”

Susie has only great things to say about her experience with Hampton Roads Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. “Dr. Swenson was so caring and very attentive. He always took his time with me, which made me feel like he truly cared about me,” Susie observes, “ I would recommend Dr. Swenson to anyone with knee problems!”

She adds, “Also, Dr. Swenson’s physician assistant was always really helpful. After my surgery, I worked with Marc in physical therapy, and he was just wonderful. I would recommend HROSM to anyone,” Susie says, noting the staff’s positive attitude and commitment to service.

Susie is well on her way to recovery. After rehabilitation and physical therapy, she says she now has more good days with her knees. She can continue to do all the things she enjoys, but without the kind of pain she experienced prior to surgery.

“If you are in pain, don’t wait,” Susie advises, “I only wish that I had the surgery sooner!”