Judy Hoff of Tipton, Missouri, can describe the advantages of less surgery. About seven years ago, she had her right hip replaced with standard methods. In April 2007, she had her left hip replaced with a minimally invasive anterior method by Dr. Bal.
“You can see the difference just by looking at my scar. From the first operation, I have an incision from my mid-thigh to my buttocks,” she said. “But what really was bad was the recovery time. I spent four weeks on pain medication, which I don’t take very well, and a walker, and then three weeks with a cane. It was horrible.”
When the time came for Judy’s other hip, she investigated all options. “I had been reading about other approaches, and was already somewhat familiar with minimally invasive surgery, and I wanted to find a surgeon who would be able to perform it. I was actually scheduled to have my left hip replaced the same way as I had my first surgery, but I just didn’t want to go through that again, so I canceled it. I was going to wait until I found the right physician and the right procedure.”
A friend suggested that she consider the Missouri Hip & Knee Center of Columbia, which had recently established clinics in Jefferson City. “That’s about 10 miles closer to where I live, which is nice, but more importantly, we see our family physician in Jefferson City, so that was much more comfortable for us.” She checked out the Web site, and after a clinic visit, was scheduled for surgery.
Her surgery was on a Wednesday, and she went home that Friday, bearing full weight, with no hip precautions to follow. “I was walking around that evening, and there is no comparison between the pain I experienced compared to the old procedure. That is a very big consideration for me, to minimize the time I have to take pain meds. Since then, I have gotten back to my garden, mowed the lawn, and started riding the bicycle again. I haven’t gotten back on a horse yet, but I plan to soon.”
Judy has resumed most of her activities and, although retired, has started working part-time in a local title office. She says that each surgical experience may be different, but that people interested in hip replacement should do their research and “do like I did – think about it.
“This is the best thing I ever did. I have been telling everyone it’s amazing and that the improvements in the surgery are a miracle.”
If you would like to ask Judy about her experiences with hip replacement surgery, she has offered her email address, which you can access by clicking this link.