Pain held Katherine captive, but now she’s been set free

Southern Illinois Healthcare offers the only Joint Commission accredited Joint Camp in southern Illinois, which combines surgical expertise, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago affiliated therapy and valuable education to give you a better experience and faster recovery when facing joint replacement surgery.

75 year old, southern Illinois native Katherine Fox lives in Pomona, Illinois. One of six children and now a grandmother to 10 grandchildren, the last thing on Katherine’s mind was slowing down. One day, she started to notice that the aching in her hips was getting worse. But like most people she had too much going on to pay much attention to it: being actively involved in her church, caring for her mother, spending time with the grandkids and her family and tending her flowers kept her busy.

Living on a farm in Pomona, Katherine was no stranger to hard work, but she eventually reached a point where the only time she was without pain was when she was resting in her recliner. She couldn’t go up the stairs in her house or water her flowers. She tried a cane, but that didn’t really help. Eventually, Katherine started to pass up on opportunities to visit with friends and going to church became nearly impossible.

“I still went to church when I could, but if I was invited out, most of the time I didn’t go—it was just too difficult to get around,” shared Katherine.

Doing Her Homework

Katherine decided that enough was enough! She began doing her homework—exploring her medical options for what she knew would likely include surgery. Katherine talked with friends for advice, explored different physician groups in the region, until she was comfortable with her surgeon and the hospital where her surgery would take place.

Her research revealed a newer, less invasive hip replacement surgery, known as the anterior hip replacement. Katherine’s journey eventually led her to orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Mike Davis. After meeting Katherine, reviewing her medical history and performing diagnostic imaging of her hips, Dr. Davis believed that Katherine would be a good candidate for not just anterior hip replacement, but a bilateral anterior hip replacement. Both of her hips were in such bad shape that she needed to get both hips replaced at the same time.

Anterior Hip Replacement

An anterior hip replacement allows Herrin Hospital Joint Camp surgeons to replace the joint without distressing or detaching muscle from the pelvis or femur during surgery. Patients may be able to immediately bend their hips freely and bear full weight when comfortable, enabling a quicker return to normal function.

Choosing Bilateral Anterior Hip Replacement

Katherine agreed to have her bilateral hip replacement performed at Herrin Hospital’s Joint Camp. She was more than ready to do what it would take for her to get back to the things that she enjoyed. She added, “I really missed tending to my beautiful country yard and spending time in fellowship with my friends from church.”

Prior to her procedure, Katherine attended the educational class offered by Joint Camp Coordinator, Stephanie Banks. During the class, Banks shared insightful tips for preparing her home for her return after surgery and what to expect during her time at the hospital.

“Stephanie shared some exercises to try before surgery and I thought these were very helpful! What I learned in the class proved to be very useful after I came home from my procedure.”

After Surgery

“I had my surgery on a Friday and I left Herrin Hospital to go home on Sunday. It was amazing—as soon as I woke up from surgery, the pain was gone!”

Katherine participated in therapy at the Joint Camp gym before she left the hospital. “Everyone at Herrin Hospital was so kind and attentive. I just can’t say enough nice things about them. The nurses, physicians—they knew their jobs, but were also very caring and professional at the same time.”

“I could walk! It had been so long, but finally I could walk again!”

After arriving home, the next morning, “I got up and fixed my own breakfast!” Katherine added.

Now just a few short months later, Katherine schedule is a busy as it ever was! She’s still sending birthday cards to all of her church family and singing in church. She’s back to tending her flower garden and spending time with her sister making crafts and even having lunch with her grandkids!

As Katherine thinks back on her experience, she says, “You need to feel confident about your surgery, do your homework. If I could help just one person become more confident about choosing Joint Camp and getting the help like I got—it gave me my life back! I don’t believe there is any place better in the nation. I don’t believe that I could have received better care anywhere else!”