Marlene loved to dance, both with her husband and in Zumba classes. But when her hip pain sidelined her, she knew it was time to act – and her video below shows the results.
Marlene was no stranger to hip pain. She had been suffering off and on from pain in her right hip for about 10 years.
“If I went dancing, hiking or shopping around Costco, my right hip would be sore for three or four days and then it would calm down,” says 72-year-old Marlene.
Dancing was one of the hardest things that Marlene had to give up due to hip pain. Marlene met her husband at a dance in college, and it is something they loved to do together, and she also enjoyed it on her own.
“My favorite thing to do is dancing, I used to do step aerobics and Zumba. But about two years ago I had to stop because of the pain in my hip.”
Marlene shared that the pain became more and more frequent, and it got to a point where she could hardly walk. After a trip to her primary care doctor and an X-ray, Marlene was referred to Dr. Bradley Crow at Muir Orthopaedic Specialists.
Meeting the expert
At her appointment, she learned she had arthritis that had deteriorated the right hip so badly that it was bone rubbing on bone. Dr. Crow explained what he saw in the X-rays and his proposed treatment plan, which was a total hip replacement. He told her it could be done in a year or so and that it was up to her to decide when to have the surgery.
“He was so helpful, he explained everything and answered all of my questions. Between me and my husband, we had a lot of questions,” says Marlene.
Marlene was originally scared about the hip replacement surgery because she has two friends who had complications with hip surgery at a different practice. She put her hesitation aside and agreed it was the best treatment option for her, and she went through with the surgery.
“I was very nervous, but there were no complications at all. Recovery and visits at home with the physical therapist went very well.”
A few months after getting back to normal activities, Marlene realized that her left knee was really starting to bother her. She decided to go see Dr. Crow about the pain right away. He ran some tests, which included an X-ray of her left leg, including her hip. She was given a cortisone injection in her left hip.
The injection took all the pain away from her knee. This was an indication that the pain came not from the knee but rather the hip. The X-rays supported this diagnosis, showing that her left hip also had a lot of deterioration due to arthritis.
Less than a year after her right hip replacement, she had her left hip replaced.
“For the second hip replacement surgery I was much less nervous because I had already had a successful surgery with Dr. Crow.”
Follow-up care after her hip replacement
Both surgeries were in the morning, and by noon Marlene was in her hospital room.
“By 1 o’clock I was walking in the hallways using a walker. I stayed overnight, and the hospital staff kept constant watch.”
The next day, she was released to go home.
“After each surgery my leg was swollen and felt weak,” recalls Marlene. “But I followed Dr. Crow’s written and oral instructions to a T. They were extensive but very helpful.”
These instructions included exercises and guidance on how much Marlene should move.
Four days after surgery a physical therapist came to Marlene’s house. The physical therapist gave her exercises to do and visited three times a week.
“Every day, I started to feel a little better and could walk a little easier.”
Marlene started with a walker and then switched to a cane when her physical therapist said she should.
“I used the cane for six days and realized I was carrying the cane instead of leaning on it. So with permission I ditched it too. In less than two weeks I was walking on my own in the house and outside.”
Marlene has a tip for others who might be getting a hip replacement in the future.
“Prior to your surgery, they provide you with exercises to do to strengthen your legs. But I always tell people to also do some arm strengthening. You will need these muscles to push yourself up with your arms when you are getting in and out of chairs and bed.”
Getting back into the swing of dancing
Marlene has been working on her return to her love, dancing. Just two months after her second surgery she has been putting on her favorite music and dancing in the house. Now she has worked up to being able to keep her hands above her heart for 15 minutes while she dances, for cardio benefits.
“I can’t wait to get back to Zumba classes soon and to dance with my wonderful husband again. He has been so helpful and supportive through it all,” says Marlene.
“The whole thing has just been a miracle. I can’t believe I have no pain and that I am back to being an active person again.”
Marlene recently saw Dr. Crow and gave him a big hug, telling him, “Thank you. Thank you. I feel so good. You have changed my life and improved it so much.”