|“I was rolling in pain and could barely walk,” says Fairfield resident Heath Smith, describing how she felt before her hip replacement surgery at Bridgeport Hospital in March 2011. “The pain shot right down my leg. It was extreme.”|
Worn cartilage in Heath’s hip joint had led to severe arthritis—bone rubbing on bone, the cause of her severe pain. So Heath underwent a total hip replacement operation, performed by Chief of Orthopedic Surgery David Bindelglass, MD.
During total hip replacement surgery, the worn-out joint is removed and replaced with one made of metal and plastic. These artificial replacements can last up to 25–30 years.
Orthopedic nurses and physical therapists often assist patients in walking on the new joint the morning after their operation. Physical therapy, provided by experts such as those from Bridgeport Hospital’s Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers, continues on an inpatient and then on an outpatient basis for several weeks.
“The staff was fantastic,” Heath says. “They were always smiling and had a great sense of humor. There’s nothing about my procedure that I wouldn’t rate a 10 out of 10.”
Heath, who is 82, describes her recovery as “startlingly short.” She says she was climbing stairs at home again within six weeks of the procedure. Best of all, Heath says she can play with her grandchildren when they come to visit.
“Hip and knee replacement procedures have improved the quality of life for hundreds of Bridgeport Hospital patients and thousands more around the world,” says Dr. Bindelglass. “Since it was introduced in the 1960s, hip replacement surgery has become more effective thanks to improvements in technique and technology. It has also become viable for more patients, including those in their 80s.”
Dr. Bindelglass, fellow orthopedic surgeon Joel Malin, MD, physical therapist Amy Mooney and orthopedic nurse Karen Essig will discuss the causes of and treatments for hip and knee pain, including joint replacement surgery, during the free lecture, "Hip or Knee Pain? You Can Do Something About It!" Wednesday, Sept. 21, 1:00–3:00 p.m., at Wesley Heights at Wesley Village, 580 Long Hill Rd., Shelton. Registration is required. Call 1-888-357-2396.