Just two weeks ago, I had anterior hip replacement and feel super!

Bridget Tolpa, Patient

Just over two weeks after anterior hip joint replacement surgery, Bridget and her husband, Bob, are out enjoying dinner.

I have a very active lifestyle. I do spinning at Bronson Wellness Center 2-3 times per week, do yoga, use the elliptical, like to walk, and just generally like to be active. So when I thought I had pulled a muscle, I went to my doctor to have an X-ray taken only to find out that I had osteoarthritis in my right hip! I had no idea that I had osteoarthritis, especially since I had a lateral hip replacement performed on my left hip six years ago and nothing was ever mentioned about osteoarthritis.

My internist, Dr. Dotson, gave me a referral to Dr. Mark Nikkel of Bronson Orthopedic & Joint Specialists in South Haven. In the past, all the doctors that Dr. Dotson referred me to have been excellent so I really respect her opinion. I also heard from others what they think about Dr. Nikkel. The common theme was that Dr. Nikkel isn’t quick to perform surgery on his patients. He initially prescribes nonsurgical treatments and if those are unsuccessful, he then discusses other treatment options with his patients.

At the appointment, Dr. Nikkel did an extensive interview with me. He recommended that I keep a journal for the next six weeks on the things that I can do and the things that I can’t. He also asked that I schedule six weeks of physical therapy, which I did, and also gave me a cortisone shot to see if that would relieve the pain.  After six weeks I reported back to Dr. Nikkel what I could, and could not do, with very few things that I could do. I completed physical therapy and although it helped me through the pain, it still did not allow me to do the things that I love like spinning, yoga, etc. And, although the cortisone did work, it was minimal.  When I reported back to Dr. Nikkel, he gave me the option of additional physical therapy and other medications, or surgery. I choose surgery with the anterior approach to hip replacement. (With anterior hip surgery, the muscles are not cut so it usually means a much quicker recovery time.) Before having the surgery, I mentioned to Dr. Nikkel that I tend to have allergic reactions to anesthesia so he ordered a spinal block for me. The surgery went well and I was released from the hospital the next morning. I am doing PT and already weaning myself from the pain medication. I just went out for a walk and can’t believe how good I feel. In about a month or so, I should be back to spinning, using the elliptical and back to my normal activities. 

I had a very positive experience at Bronson and just feel super!


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