Pushing Past the “What Ifs?” – New Hips Make Huge Difference for Area Farmer

JointWorks ConradyFor years, procrastination and fear of surgery kept area farmer Mike Conrady, 48, from considering surgery for his hips.

Finally, at age 45, when nothing eased the pain and he couldn’t sleep at night, he met with Dr. Tomasz Borowiecki, a Springfield Clinic surgeon with Memorial JointWorks at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. After reviewing X-rays, Borowiecki pronounced the left hip “completely worn out” with bone against bone and the right hip in “not very good shape.”

Together they decided to replace the left hip. Three years after that successful surgery, on a Disney trip with his wife, Pam, and daughters, Morgan and Claire, Mike decided to have the second replacement done.

“The new hip did great, but the right one was acting up and slowing me down. I couldn’t keep up with my family on vacation,” he said. “When we got home, I told my wife, ‘It’s time to get the other one done.’”

Here’s a look at what the JointWorks program offered Mike:

  • Education: Mike attended an optional JointWorks class ahead of the first hip replacement to learn about the procedure and what to expect afterward. “It was very informational, and I highly recommend it,” he said. “There is a surgical nurse and a physical therapist, and they walk you through what the doctor will do and then the routine at home and with physical therapy.”
  • Post-surgery rehabilitation: After both surgeries at ALMH, Memorial Home Services employees monitored Mike’s vitals at home for the first week. They drew blood, checked blood pressure and managed his pain levels. Physical therapists came during the second week and started him on basic exercises including leg kicks to the side, front and back as well as foot pumps to improve circulation. After three weeks at home, Mike returned to ALMH as an outpatient to work out at the rehab center under the supervision and encouragement of therapists Tim Heitzig, Randy Miller and Michelle Whittington. “The PT program at the hospital is outstanding,” Mike said. “After six weeks, I was ready to rock and roll. It is such a great facility with great machines, and the staff was amazing.”
  • Success! Mike’s whole attitude has changed since having the hip surgeries. He enjoys going for walks with his wife and participating again in their family’s active schedule. “You don’t realize how much pain you are in until you go have it done,” he says. “It was a challenge to even stand up. You can’t ‘what if?’ life. You just have to do it. I can’t recommend it enough to those who experience that kind of pain. Your whole attitude changes toward life.”