Paula Schlegel - Right THR
Date of surgery: May 6, 2009
Surgeon: Dr. Fritz Braunlich
Hospital: Wheeling Hospital, Wheeling, WV
Prior to surgery: When did you first notice symptoms and what were they? I noticed my knee hurting years before I knew it was really my hip that was the culprit. But when teaching certain leg exercises, I noticed I had very little range of motion in the right hip.
"Congenital hip problem" was my diagnosis at the age of 44. (Diagnosed on March 2, 2009)
Prior to my diagnosis, I tried every drug treatment, masssage therapy and physical therapy for my knee pain not knowing it was a hip problem. The knee pain in both knees was chronic. I am a Jazzercise instructor and have been teaching for nearly 7 years.
My body compensated totally for my hip. I would teach and I think I used every muscle I could to perform the move. However, the muscles surrounding my hip were not being used and I was surprised once I had the THR that I had no muscle-tone in the hip area.
How long an interval was it from the onset of hip problems until surgery?
The hip issue went on for about a year before surgery. However, I didn't know it was the hip. But I limped for a few years prior.
When I found out that I needed a THR, I decided to do it sooner than later based on my physical condition which was decent at the time. I knew I couldn't walk longer than a 1/2 hour without needing to sit. I would limp to the stage to teach a class and then hobble to my car after class.
Were there other dancers you spoke with that helped you?
I just knew that I wouldn't be able to do what I loved (Jazzercise) much longer without having surgery. I feared I would end up with a permanent limp and may be crippled down the road.
I chose my Dr. based soley on his bed side manner and his experience. He had just moved back into our hometown after serving in the army as a surgeon. He was in Irag for over a year. He was kind and sympathetic to my situation being an active, young person who had a hip problem. He assured me that I could return to a better quality of life and do the activities I loved with a THR.
I am about 4 weeks post op today. This evening I attended a Jazzercise class of a fellow instructor. I stepped my way through and can put full weight on my operated leg. There are some limitations but I know they will come in time. The muscles need to be a bit stronger. I am being very careful and following the hip precautions carefully. I am doing water therapy. Which means just walking in water. I am walking with crutches and trying to re-train my body to walk properly.
I am without the pain from before the hip replacement. I had intense burning in the groin area and it is gone. I can stand and tell my hips are in line which for so long they were not.
Last week, I couldn't lift my leg from a lying down position. This week I can lift and lower my leg and take it out to the side and back in. Walking has been a great help with rebuilding the muscle.
I am pleased with the outcome and I like many others wonder why I waited so long. Put aside the fears if you are suffering!
Posted June 12, 2009
Five months post surgery:
I am teaching Jazzercise 4 to 5 times a week. My class includes a warm-up routine and 9 aerobic routines followed by strength training which includes pilates and stretching. My only one limitation is crossing my operated leg over my center line. I can instruct the students to but I don't do that.
In a normal day I am no longer limping and I am pain free. I do feel slight twinges on the other hip but I won't worry about that for now. My painful knee that carried the burden of my hip for so long is getting better as my hip gets stronger. The muscles are slowly coming back but honestly it would be faster if I were more disciplined in my exercises at home. I am back to working again and find excuses to not do them. Really important to keep trying to strengthen them. The best advice I have gotten so far is to walk and then walk some more. The walking helps to rebuild and strengthen the hip area. I still get tired at the end of the day and if I walk for a large part of the day. Today I enjoyed shopping with my daughters and not walking in pain.
I am working on taking off some unwanted pounds which came on within the past five months. (About ten pounds I would say.) I think a lot of it is due to the lack of intense exercise that my body was used to doing. I am looking forward to seeing my orthopedic surgeon in November and will share my update then.
Posted October 04, 2009
UPDATE March 07, 2010
I wanted to update my info and let you know that it hasn't been one year since my RTHR and I have just opened my own Jazzercise center here in Wheeling, WV.
I am sending you a photo as I promised months ago.... of my teaching the class.
SECOND HIP! - posted October 2011
I had my second THR just about three weeks ago (September 26, 2011).
I felt the left hip beginning to lose range of motion as I was teaching my Jazzercise classes. I saw the same OS, Dr. E Fritz Braunlich, who did my RTHR.
We decided to go with a different procedure and not cut any muscle.
I went to a Jazzercise class this morning just about 3 weeks post surgery and stood in the back able to move pretty well. I am walking without the use of crutches too.
I am planning to go back to teaching my classes as soon as my OS gives me the ok. Happy to have had the second one done as well. Feeling very balanced and strong.
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UPDATE June 2012
My second hip done this past September failed.
I had to have a revision in April this year. My surgeon in Wheeling was convinced it was something I had done by going back to Jazzercise post op. Finally, after six months of being on crutches he decided to send me to Pittsburgh where I saw a specialist and he diagnosed my loose cup. I had revision surgery and I am back to my Jazzercise, but not teaching because of the several months of being off. My muscles have totally atrophied and I am starting all over. I just wanted to share that with you and will share it with the others if you want. Kind of a downer I know. The end result is awesome.