My New Left Hip

Vicki Eichstaedt, Patient

Three weeks ago today (January 28, 2016), I “woke up” in the recovery room after having my left hip replaced. Today, I am walking without any assistive devices, I am taking no medications for pain, and my surgeon has released me to perform nearly any activity I wish, if it does not cause me any discomfort. Immediately after surgery, I was in no pain and had no post anesthesia “hangover”. Within an hour or so, I used a walker to take a walk around the recovery unit. Once in my room, I was fully alert, in no pain and able to use the restroom on my own. After successfully completing my initial physical therapy goals, I was home, less than 24 hours after surgery! I am sharing my experience for several reasons. This surgery and recovery was possible because of two extremely gifted physicians who are superb technicians, who listened to my concerns, and helped me come through this process without general anesthesia and opioid pain medications post operatively. My surgical anesthesia was a spinal block with a long-lasting local intra-operatively. For post-operative pain, I was given pain medicine to take while in the hospital and when I returned home. If you have delayed hip surgery because of fears of a long and painful recovery, complicated by intolerance to opioid drugs, I am here to tell you it can be done without them! The anterior surgical approach is minimally invasive, muscle and tissue sparing, with less pain, faster recovery, and increased mobility. I want to extend my heartfelt and sincere thanks to David J. Christ, MD Orthopedic Surgeon, and Robert M. Nicholson IV, MD Anesthesiologist. I would not have had such a successful outcome and feel so well today, without them. On a side note, it was with so much pride and love that I placed myself in Dr. Nicholson’s care – I have known him since he was in high school here in Kalamazoo, in the same graduating class as my twin sons!

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