Avera Medical Minute: Pierre man ready for farm chores, dancing with new hip

PIERRE, S.D. - A Pierre man is ready for more chores on the farm, and even dancing a jig, after having hip replacement surgery. He has advice for others considering the surgery.

Joe Thorne received a hip replacement at Avera in Pierre.

Every rancher knows how hard it can be to take a day off, and nearly impossible to leave town for several days, so when Joe Thorne needed hip replacement surgery, he relied on his hired hand on the ranch, and care just a few minutes away, at Avera Medical Group Pierre.

"Sometimes it wasn't too bad, then it got to when there was pain all the time," said Joe.

Dr. Mark Hagy, Avera Orthopedic Surgeon says Joe's symptoms were getting in the way of his work. "So Joe's a farmer who was having trouble getting in and out of the truck, having trouble getting his boots on, putting his jeans on to go work and what he was doing on the farm he couldn't do as well."

Before surgery, many try anti-inflammatory medication or physical therapy. If those options are exhausted, hip replacement surgery is usually next, as in Joe's case.

"We replace a cup, the ball and then a stem down the femur," Hagy explained.

Thankfully, one of the leading orthopedic surgeons in the area is within a ten-minute drive, at Avera Medical Group Pierre.

"Well I was just in overnight, they sent me home the next day. Walked me up some stairs, and when I walked up them, I could go," Thorne said.

And recovery time is shorter than ever due to the procedure Hagy offers. "I do the anterior hip replacement. That's different because Joe was able to drive in two weeks," said Hagy. "I don't use stitches so Joe was able to take a shower in two days."

Three months later, Joe is back to handling all the chores again."I'm plum satisfied with my surgery. I'd recommend it to anybody."

Thorne says other patients are comparing their surgeries done by Dr. Hagy. "I had other people go to him, in fact, my neighbor, he just had him replace his ankle, and he come out of there good, said Thorne. "It was just two weeks ago. He's still on crutches and he says all the pain is gone on that."

Joe's advice for others having hip pain...."I'd say go right down and have it done. I should have had it done two years before I did."

Dr. Hagy offers surgical procedures with the level of expertise that allows patients to stay in the central region of the state, rather than requiring travel "we've been sub-specialty trained, and we want to give that care and make it a great experience, so you don't have to take time out of your life because you're close to home."

Joe's new hip means he's not only ready for chores but having some fun. Is he ready to dance a jig? "Oh I think so, I don't know about a jig but a slow one!"

Other symptoms of hip problems include pain going up or down stairs, crossing legs, pain in the groin area, and difficulty with movement in putting on shoes.

Hagy specializes in surgery and care for hips, ankles, knees and other procedures.