I call him my hero.
In 2009, Nancy Esterline fell and cracked her left hip. Unfortunately, the accident left her unable to walk, and after two years of visiting a doctor in a nearby town, her pain and mobility had still not improved. As her discomfort grew to be unbearable, Nancy knew that her best hope was hip replacement surgery.
Nancy’s son had a friend who worked at Bronson Orthopedic Specialists in Marshall. He recommended that she set up an appointment with one of the orthopedic surgeons there. Nancy scheduled a consultation with Dr. Joseph Burkhardt who indicated that she was a good candidate for hip replacement. Nancy was pleased and soon her surgery was scheduled at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital.
“Dr. Burkhardt was amazing,” said Nancy. “Before surgery, he explained everything and always answered all of my questions. After the procedure, he frequently came into my room to make sure I was doing okay.”
Just one week after her surgery, Nancy was able to walk again—something she never thought would be possible. “After being dependent on a walker or cane for two years, my friends and family were shocked that I was back to walking so quickly. Nobody believed the surgery could make me walk again.”
Nancy’s mobility continued to improve as she participated in eight weeks of rehabilitation.
“Dr. Burkhardt told me to take as long as my body needed to recover. He was very patient and considerate.” Once her hip fully recovered, Nancy was able to return to activities she had not been able to do since her fall two years earlier.
A few years passed and although Nancy’s hip wasn’t causing her pain, she started to experience discomfort in her knee, making it more difficult for her to walk. She didn’t want the pain to get worse so she made an appointment with Dr. Burkhardt to discuss her options.
During the appointment, Dr. Burkhardt recommended that Nancy consider another procedure—knee replacement surgery. “I didn’t have to think twice about my decision,” Nancy said. “I felt so good after my hip replacement that I knew I would feel even better after getting my knee replaced.”
A few months later, Nancy had a successful knee replacement surgery. “Nurse Jill made my short hospital stay a breeze,” she raved. “She consistently took the time to just sit and talk with me, always checking in to make sure I was okay.”
After Nancy was discharged, she was able to continue her recovery through physical therapy sessions three to four times a week for the following month.
Today, Nancy is pain-free and so thankful for her two joint replacement surgeries. Because of her positive experience, she encourages others with hip and knee pain to stop waiting and start considering the procedure. Nancy’s decision to have her hip and knee joints replaced has given her the freedom to do the things that she loves and as she says, “Gave me my life back.”