Avera Medical Minute: Hard work pays off after receiving a hip replacement

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Approximately 120,000 hip replacements are performed each year in the United States.

For one Sioux Falls man, that surgery and the physical therapy that followed changed his life.

"I'm pretty young, I'm in my early 40s, so it is kind of unusual for someone my age to get there hip replaced," Jay Meyers, said.

Jay's story began three years ago; he broke his hip just below the ball joint. He had surgery to repair it, but over time that bone began to collapse.

Jay decided to undergo another surgery in January, this time an anterior approach, which is done in front of the hip.

"I could sit, I could move around a lot a more, I could do a lot more different activities right away," Meyers said. "So, I think it actually sped up my recovery process to get where I needed to go. I have little kids at home, I have a high paced job and so just trying to keep up with everybody in the family."

But, that was just the beginning of his recovery process. Most patients who have hip replacement surgery feel a bit of soreness, flexibility problems, and some bruising and swelling. To get through all of this, Jay decided to continue his recovery through Avera's Physical Therapy.

Avera physical therapist, Dr. Mark Ponstein, says everyone's recovery is different. So, they do some essential exercises that most people get after a hip replacement. He says it's important to be in close contact with physicians regarding the procedure they had.

"In general we're trying to maximize the patients' ability to move early in the rehabilitation process during which time we're obviously respecting the healing process and trying to enhance the healing process along the way," Dr. Ponstein said.

For Jay, it meant strengthing exercises such as walking and standing on one leg.

"My therapy plan has been two days a day, I think we're going to tailor it back to one day a week because I have a lot of home programs now," Meyers said. "So, I do my activities twice a day, and the goal is to improve my flexibility and my strength."

Jay says that old adage about 'hard work paying off' is ringing true for him, but make no mistake, it is hard work.

"I came home from one of the therapies, and I knew the day before I couldn't do it, I came home from therapy that day, and I got my foot up on the step, and I was like ah that's a huge accomplishment for just one day," Meyers said.

During therapy, Avera trainers make sure to respect the healing process and try to enhance it along the way.

For more information, you can visit avera.org.