Early last year, kindergarten teacher Lisa Simpson, 55, of Naperville was having trouble keeping up with her students at Beebe Elementary School. For a couple of years, she had been managing her hip pain with conservative treatment, but this time she knew something was really wrong.
“At my age, I just assumed I had bursitis or another type of inflammation,” Simpson explains. “I was shocked to learn that my x-rays showed bone-on-bone osteoarthritis.”
Simpson, not yet mentally ready to have surgery, opted to receive a cortisone shot to minimize the pain as much as possible. This treatment worked for a time, but after several months, she was moving so slowly and awkwardly at home and school that her boss asked her what was wrong. The pain eventually extended all the way down to her foot.
“I knew then that my pain was obvious to others, so I asked around for a good hip replacement surgeon,” she says. “My close friend highly recommended Dr. Scott Sporer at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush who is right here in Naperville. I liked what she said and what I read online.”
She met with Dr. Sporer and appreciated his plan for an outpatient total hip replacement. He explained that younger patients like her are becoming more and more common. More active than earlier generations, they have put more wear and tear on their joints but want to continue their active lifestyles. They also appreciate the convenience of going home the same day as surgery and not missing much work. However, Dr. Sporer recommended that Simpson wait to have surgery for two months after her last cortisone shot to avoid an increased risk of infection.
“I agreed with Dr. Sporer’s treatment plan, but the hip pain got so bad that I could hardly take it anymore,” Simpson says. “My nights were the worst and the pain was 24/7. I had no idea pain was so exhausting.”
Dr. Sporer prescribed medication for Simpson to minimize her pain until surgery could be safely done. Finally, the day came, and her total hip surgery at the Rush Oak Brook Outpatient Center was a success. It took less than two hours.
“My friends couldn’t believe how well I did after surgery,” Simpson says. “I came home and walked up the steps. The next day I had no pain and within days gave up any walking aids.”
One month following surgery, Simpson gratefully returned to in-person classroom teaching. She also added fitness walking back into her regular regimen just a month after surgery. Simpson enjoyed the regular recovery texts she received from Dr. Sporer which reminded her to keep moving, do her physical therapy and let him know if she had any concerns.
Today, Simpson would tell anyone not to wait or be afraid to have a joint replacement. “I absolutely got my life back,” she says. “I’m looking forward to retiring and being my active self again!”
If you would like to discuss your hip or knee pain with Dr. Scott Sporer of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, schedule an appointment by calling 877-MD-BONES or click here to schedule online.