“I’ll preface this review by stating that I wasn’t in great shape to start with, just so people know that ANYONE can do this. I know this is a bit long but I want to tell you about my journey.
In July 2016, I began experiencing severe pain in my right hip and knee that I just couldn’t put off anymore so I came to Randolph Pain Relief and Wellness Center. Dr. Curtis took x-rays and diagnosed me with osteoarthritis of the right hip. I was against having a hip replacement at the time because a family member had a total hip arthroplasty and wound up in a wheelchair. That was not going to be me. I figured I would give physical therapy a try before I decided on surgery. I did PT for several months, but while I had improved some, I still was not where I wanted to be. I went for a surgery consult and the surgeon was surprised I could walk, much less perform a job that required extensive walking. It was at this point that I ceased going for PT but took my therapists advice to continue with the exercise regimen I had been doing and to save the PT for after surgery since my insurance only authorizes a specific number of sessions per year.
My surgeon had a three month wait for surgery and pre-surgical exercises on his website so I did those exercises in addition to what I was already doing Three weeks prior to surgery, I went for pre-admission testing and was given even more exercises to do. I did them all and now I couldn’t get any more pain medication unless I went to a pain management doctor because of a change in New Jersey law. At this point, I had to start using a cane because the earliest appointment I could get with a pain management doctor was the day before surgery. I did get a scrip for anti-inflammatories but it did nothing for the pain. The pain made it very challenging, but I still did ALL my exercises. It took twice as long and hurt like hell but I wanted to come out of surgery ahead of the game.
So, I had my surgery and was told that as soon as they were sure the anesthesia wore off, I was going to be up and walking. I was determined because this was what I prepared for Off came the compression devices in came the walker and up I stood in total amazement and with only minimal pain, which was not from my hip joint but from my incision. It was a small stroll up and down the hallway but to me I felt the same amount of accomplishment as if I’d run and finished a marathon. On day two I was supposed to have one visit with occupational therapy and two visits with physical therapy so I readied myself, doing what exercises I could in bed without disrupting the compression devices I sailed through OT, then was told I did so well on the first PT session that the second was not needed and I would be discharged. I would be doing PT at home for two weeks, see my surgeon for staple removal and then go to out-patient PT. I left the hospital in under 36 hours.
After the first home PT visit, the therapist determined that I would only need two weekly visits and not the usual three. To just do the exercises she gave me and nothing else. To not do the bed exercises without her. In one week, I went from the walker back to the cane and in another week, I went back to see my surgeon and he told me that I didn’t even need the cane. While I wanted to come back to Randolph Pain Relief, the hospital recommended someplace else so I went with their recommendation. I got there and on the first day they assessed me. The therapist asked me to lay on my back, bend my left leg and lift my right leg. Up it went without any difficulty and way past the 90-degree restriction. (OK I was only concerned with getting my leg up and had forgotten about the restriction) This was my hardest exercise while I was going to Randolph Pain Relief and here I was doing it without any difficulty. The therapist told me that most people achieve this 2-3 months out, not on day one. Even more motivated, I went to PT three times a week and did their recommended exercises on days when I did not have PT.
After four weeks, I went back to my surgeon for a check-up and all restrictions were removed. I asked if I could continue PT for help with balance, gait and endurance. I finished last week. In the interim, I came back into Randolph Pain Relief to personally thank Dr. Curtis and everyone who helped me. Had it not been for their foundation exercises I would not be where I am today. At the beginning of out-patient therapy, my physical abilities graded at 30%. I was graded at 95% after 24 visits. I can walk up and down the hill at CCM but my only difficulty is putting on my right shoe. I’ll take it. All I can say is if anyone is thinking any joint surgery is the end of the world, go to Randolph Pain Relief if only for a few visits to get a good foundation or pre-surgical exercises It works! If you want proof, I’ll be happy to show you my scar and skip for you.”