Mary Miller - Davison, MI
"Major surgery does not have to be a major problem."
Special Procedure + Joint Camp = Speedy Recovery from Hip Replacement Surgery
Mary Miller of Davidson had her first hip replacement surgery five years ago. When she knew it was time to replace her other hip, she sought out Orthopedic Surgeon James Ware, D.O. “My first hip was very bad and Dr. Ware made it perfect,” she said. “I wanted him to do my second hip as well.”
She said her experience at MyMichigan Medical Center Alma was well worth the 90-minute drive from her home in Davidson. “Dr. Ware used a new procedure for my second hip,” Mary said. “I didn’t have as many restrictions after surgery and I was more mobile very quickly. I felt like a new person!”
The procedure, anterior approach total hip replacement, is less invasive than traditional total hip replacement. It requires a smaller incision and minimizes the amount of trauma to muscle and tissue. Patients who undergo anterior approach total hip replacement usually recover more quickly and experience less pain.
Mary also took advantage of Joint Camp, a special program offered to patients who undergo knee and hip replacement surgery at the Medical Center. “Joint Camp was very good. They focused on before-and-after care and it was a good refresher for me. They told us what to expect and how to prepare for surgery,” Mary said. “They also showed us the exercises to do before surgery to gain leg strength. I did the exercises faithfully – and continue to do them.”
Mary said her recovery time was half that of her first surgery. “After my first hip replacement, it took me almost six weeks to walk without a walker,” Mary said. “After the second hip surgery, it took less than three weeks."
Seventy five-year-old Mary recovered so well that she hosted a large family gathering just weeks after her surgery. “My daughters did a lot of the work, but I couldn’t have done it after my first surgery,” she said.
Mary said that people considering total hip replacement should pick their doctor and the hospital carefully. “My experience at Alma was very good,” she said. “They are very caring and friendly, and the facility is excellent. The private room is nice, especially on the first two days.”
She added that patients also need to prepare themselves physically. “I’d tell someone, ‘Do your exercises!’ It may not feel like they make a difference, but they do,” Mary said.
Mary believes that a combination of innovative surgical techniques, Joint Camp, and diligent self-care helped her recover quickly and live pain-free. “Major surgery does not have to be a major problem,” she said. “I truly forget that I had the surgery until I notice the scar.”
Joint Camp at MyMichigan Medical Center Alma offers faster recovery times, higher patient satisfaction and improved clinical outcomes. For a physician referral to an orthopedic surgeon, visit www.mymichigan.org/doctors.