For years, Annie, a 53-year-old intensive care nurse from Sicklerville, lived with increasing pain in her hips that made working difficult and forced her to give up one of her favorite pastimes — riding her motorcycle.
“I reserved just enough energy to work and do the other things I had to,” Annie said. “Living with the pain was horrible.”
The breaking point came on Annie’s annual trip to Aruba with her husband. When the discomfort was so severe she could not walk on the beach, she knew it was time to do something.
SOLVING A LIFELONG PROBLEM
Annie met with Mark Chase, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center, in November 2017. X-rays showed she had been living with a condition called developmental dysplasia in both hips since birth.
“In developmental dysplasia, the ball of the hip is not centered in the socket, which becomes malformed, and the hip becomes arthritic over time,” Dr. Chase said. “Annie had lived with osteoarthritis of the hips all her life. We replaced the right hip first because it was the most severely affected.”
Annie underwent three months of physical therapy (PT) at Mountainside Medical Center following the December 2017 surgery.
“Annie was young, had many hobbies and needed to be on her feet 12 to 14 hours daily, so her physical therapy was more intense than is typical to help her reach her goals,” said Jamie Welsh, PT, DPT, physical therapist at Mountainside Medical Center. “She had compensated for her right hip by overburdening the left, which made that hip so arthritic that we had to work on both joints concurrently.”
By April 2018, Annie was finished with PT and back at work but not back on her Harley-Davidson. Her journey had one more chapter.
In December 2018, nearly a year to the day after Dr. Chase replaced Annie’s right hip, he replaced the left.
“I felt more confident going into the second surgery because I knew what to expect,” Annie said. “I was ready to feel like myself again.”
The operation and another course of PT with Jamie went smoothly. Now, Annie is able to go on morning motorcycle rides to Cape May and work without pain. She feels whole again.
Living with joint pain? If you are suffering from joint pain or lack of mobility, join us for “The Aches and Pains of Joint Pain” Monday, August 19, and learn about when it is appropriate to see an orthopedic physician. Visit MountainsideHosp.com/ events for more information and registration. Mark Chase, M.D. Jamie Welsh, PT, DPT A Journey of
“It blows my mind, all the good that came from this experience.”
— Annie Mueller on her hip replacement surgery