The Hokey Pokey is What it’s all About – Thanks to a New Hip
Written by Knees and Hips on March 4, 2014
A little over a year ago, Annie Morris was rushed to the emergency room at Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH), wondering if she would ever walk again. Now she’s doing the hokey pokey with her grandchildren.
Prior to her hospital visit, Morris endured terrible hip pain as best she could. Just cooking dinner had become a chore, because she couldn’t fix a whole meal without sitting down to rest from the pain. She had given up volunteering at the daycare center her daughter owns because she was afraid of falling while holding the kids. She’d started using a cane to walk on occasion.
Morris didn’t like giving up the activities she loved, but she didn’t want to consider surgery until she had to. Then, while packing her truck to move, she made a simple twisting motion and she felt her leg go out. “I knew I had done it,” she said.
As she waited in the emergency room for orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Linthicum, she wondered if her life would ever be the same. When Dr. Linthicum showed Morris her x-rays, she was surprised by the extent of the damage.
Your x-ray shows that your hip is very worn and arthritic,” Dr. Linthicum told her. “The pain you are feeling is your body’s way of communicating this to you.” He then explained Morris’ treatment options and suggested that she plan for surgery.
On December 28, Dr. Linthicum replaced Morris’ right hip and Morris described her experience at Howard Hospital as “exceeding expectations.”
“It was great! They thought of everything,” she said. “There were no surprises. The guidebook explained everything that was going to happen to me – start to finish,” Morris said.
Joint Care Coordinator Patti Nichols, RN, attributes much of Howard Hospital’s success to the joint center program’s approach with patients. “Our goal is to involve patients in their treatment through each step of the program because we believe our patients play a key role in promoting a successful recovery,” she said. “We offer pre- operative education with coaches (a coach is a family or friend who agrees to help the patient through the joint replacement process). We also offer group therapy, lunches with coaches, other patients, and staff; daily newsletters during the patient’s stay, massage therapy, a ‘singing hairdresser.’”
During her stay, Morris said she ate great food and enjoyed going through physical therapy with other patients. “Everywhere else the food is like airplane food. Here (at HMH) it’s like being at a resort. It was so much fun laughing and scratching with all the other people,” she said.
Now that Morris has her new hip, she has a new outlook on life. “I’m whole! I can do anything I want,” she said. She’s back to living the life she loves, helping her daughter at the daycare, judging flower arrangements at the Redwood Empire Fair, and doing the hokey pokey with her granddaughter. “That’s what it’s all about,” she said with a smile.
For more stories like Morris’ or to learn more about the Orthopedic Joint Center at Howard Hospital call 707-456-3180.
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