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Conversation of the Week: Joint Replacement

Have you had a joint replacement? Are you thinking of having one? Has a doctor said, hmm, let's discuss a new hip, knee, shoulder, or a different joint replacement? I have, and after having it done, I am so thankful.

I will answer your questions this week. I will also tell my story in four parts. Each day there will be a different part of my story. Each little piece may sound familiar, or your story may differ, but I hope you will see the commonality in our experience.

  1. Rick's story - Part 1

    I remember what caused it. The where was Turkey Run State Park (yes, it is an actual state park in Indiana). The when was 1970. The why, well, the why, is a little tough to explain. But the what? Ahh, that is the issue. The what is I broke my hip. I was thirteen, and several boys were playing on swings. These were big swings, and someone (Shane, don't deny it was you) challenged me to swing as high as possible and jump out.

    1. Rick's story part 2 - Well, I did, and when I landed, I felt the impact vibration up my leg. In that instant, there was incredible pain. I buckled to the ground. You might wonder what happened next. Nothing happened. I got up, limped away, and off I went. Of course, it hurt badly for months, but I told no one, and I went on. I went on for years. In 2013, yes, 43 years hence I stumbled into my orthopedic surgeon's office walking with a club foot.

      1. Rick's story Part 4 - Still, regardless of what happened the fix was a hip replacement. At that point I was 57, with RA and Type 1 diabetes and to be fair, a history of jumping out of swings on a dare. Three months later I had a shiny new hip. My foot had been turned in as much as possible, but it is still turned out, instead of 90 degrees now it is 45 degrees.

      2. Rick's story Parts 5 and 6 - I had the new hip installed in January and in October I presented my dissertation. In between I dealt with RA and all the rest, I had to break-in a new hip, and deal with my father's passing in December. All told 2013 was a big year.

        Before all of that of course I decided if I would do it, where, by who and when. Joint replacements are rarely one big decision, it is instead a series of many little ones what has been your joint replacement story? Are you considering it? Are you waiting? Do you have a story like jumping of a swing? Maybe it is RA damage?

        Or maybe, just maybe, Shane talked you into doing something like he did me.

    2. I have had an ankle replacement because of a torn tendon and rheumatoid arthritis

      1. I’vealways wondered about ankle replacement. I broke my ankle 2 yrs ago. They used screw & plates to rEpair it. I spent 5 wks in, unable to bear any weight for 6. Before the bones healed, osteo arthritis set in. Now bone cysts & OA cause the bones to grind together.every step I take is loud & painful! Ankle fusion is my only option. Do you think you’d go through it again? I’m curious. Best of health going forward. Rose P.

      2. I have had a T.A.R. ( total ankle replacement) in March of this year. Prior to this I suffered with ankle pain for over 3 yrs, due to fracturing this ankle some 28 yrs ago, and having a metal plate w/ screws to set it, and then came arthritis.
        After struggling for the last 3 yrs, and seeing many orthopedic surgeons, with steroid injections that last fir a short time, I found a surgeon in NYC who specializes in total ankle replacements, and then found out due to my insurance being Medicare he only took a few patients, and after waiting g for a year and a half, with now walking with a cane, I found another specialist from the same hospital at a different location in Stamford, Conn., And was done on March 3, 2023. ( same day surgery). Iam now pain free walking 3-4 miles a day and happier than I could ever be. She (surgeon) is an example of a fine human being. If I knew it would be this easy I would have had the replacement done sooner.

    3. I had bilateral knee replacements done 8 years ago. I had both done at the same time. I’m 73.

      1. Glad to hear you're doing well.

      2. I had both 3 months apart. Long rehab that yr. Rose.

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