“Getting a new hip gave me my life back,” says Lynda Walter, 68, of Granite Falls, NC. “I would tell anyone considering a hip replacement not to be afraid or delay the procedure because they fear the pain or recovery. For me, the pain was gone the moment I woke up from surgery.”
Now that she’s had both hips and a knee replaced, Lynda feels she knows a little something about orthopedic surgery. Originally from Long Island, New York, she learned about EmergeOrtho’s Hickory practice from a friend in Long Island who referred her as a previous patient before she and husband John moved here in July of 2002.
Before considering the life-changing step of getting her left hip replaced, Lynda suffered pain that began with lumbar stenosis, a condition that involves a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back. For Lynda, the pain increased gradually radiating down her leg. After several steroid injections that offered only minimal, temporary pain relief, she consulted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Donald Campbell at EmergeOrtho. By this time, the pain had grown so severe she was in a wheelchair. Standing or walking had become unbearable.
“X-rays showed the ball of my hip had completely deteriorated,” says Lynda. “It looked as if I just had two stumps instead of a hip joint. Ultimately, Dr. Campbell said I needed a new hip.”
Lynda knew she was facing a major surgical procedure with an intense recovery period. “Since I couldn’t do any of the recommended pre-surgical exercises, all I could do to prepare for surgery was to get mentally prepared and set up a kind of base camp where I could recuperate,” says Lynda. “I gathered my phone, laptop, book, remotes, and everything else I might need within easy reach of where I planned to spend most of my time after surgery. Fortunately we have a single-level home, so I didn’t have to deal with stairs. We installed a raised toilet seat and removed all loose rugs to eliminate possible tripping hazards too.”
Lynda remembers how wonderful her caregivers were at CVMC before and after the December 2016 surgery. Just a few hours post surgery, a physical therapist got her up and helped her put weight on her hip with the assistance of a walker. Then, after two nights at CVMC, she was sent home where she had visits from home health physical therapists for two weeks. They assigned her exercises to improve her range of motion, improve stability and build strength. Throughout the entire recovery period, John, a retired wrestling coach, offered enthusiastic encouragement, pushing her to gradually walk longer distances. Now, almost six months following surgery, Lynda tracks her steps on a smart phone to achieve her daily goal of walking at least a mile and a half every day. Some days she even makes it three miles.
Lynda adds, “From the moment I got to CVMC, everyone was very accommodating and extremely helpful. They made sure I understood what to expect and they were readily available after I went home too.”
To learn more about Dr. Campbell and the other providers and EmergeOrtho (formerly called Carolina Orthopedic Specialists), patients may call the practice located at 2165 Medical Park Dr, Hickory, NC 28602 at 828.324.2800.