Dancing after minimally invasive hip replacement

For Michelle R. Jenkins, staying active was too important to let a little hip pain stop her.  At age 58 she’s traveled all over the United States, gone skiing in Tahoe, and (perhaps most importantly to her) has a fulfilling career as a nurse practitioner.  Now, just 8 weeks after having her second hip replacement surgery, she’s got no plans to slow down. 

For Michelle, her active life included dancing, shopping, baking, gardening, hiking, and so much more.  But after decades of living life to the fullest, hip pain crept in rather abruptly.

“We had moved in January [2018], and suddenly the pain got so bad, I could barely walk… It really limited the activities I could do,” she says, “I couldn’t go to the store and I couldn’t stand for any prolonged periods.  Basically, I would come home from work and just sit on the couch, and that’s all I could do.” This inactivity eventually became too much to bear, “I was able to do my job but I couldn’t do anything else… normally I’m a very active person; sitting on the couch all day was very disheartening for me.”

Michelle began asking her patients for advice on orthopaedic surgeons.

“I had been asking all my patients… Every time I saw a hip scar or a knee scar, I said, “Who did your surgery?”” she says, laughing.

Dr. Stephen Kim at Resurgens Orthopaedics came very highly recommended, so Michelle decided to schedule an appointment.  After some imaging tests, it didn’t take long to spot the problem.

“[Michelle] had severe arthritis of both hips, which really limited her mobility and sense of independence since she could no longer walk or hike without pain,” says Dr. Kim, “We wanted to get her out of pain, but also get her back to her active lifestyle.  We were best able to accomplish this with a staged double hip replacement, with the surgeries 8 weeks apart.”

At first, Michelle was apprehensive about getting her hips replaced.  Though after initial appointments, Dr. Kim was able to put her mind at ease, showing her that replacing both her hips was the only way to get rid of the constant pain that had been plaguing her.  When she asked how long her recovery would take, Michelle was shocked to find she would only be out of work for about 2 weeks.

“I am so happy with the care and the results; I just can’t say enough good things about them.”

“I’m thinking this is a major orthopaedic procedure; I couldn’t imagine being back at work within 2 weeks,” she says, with a tone of incredulity in her voice.

Thanks to Dr. Kim’s skillful utilization of a minimally-invasive posterior approach total hip replacement technique and Michelle’s diligent compliance with her pre-operative instructions, she was able to recover from her first surgery and return to work in just 17 days.  Even better, the minimally invasive procedure left just a single 5-inch scar.  With one successful hip replacement under her belt (no pun intended), Michelle’s fears were alleviated and she was eager to undergo her second procedure 8 weeks after the first.

“That time, I wasn’t terrified anymore; it was a breeze.”

Michelle’s recovery was even quicker after her second hip surgery.  She was back at work in just 11 days with little to no pain. 

“I was dancing at 3 weeks!” she says.

Michelle and her husband have big plans for the future, including an anniversary trip to the Island of Saint Martin, which they initially had to cancel because of her hip pain.  In addition, the couple enjoys going dancing every week and taking long hikes at Kennesaw Mountain and other trails around the Atlanta area.  For the upcoming holiday season, Michelle is planning a cookie baking and decorating party for her 3 grandkids, a tradition the family had nearly given up on prior to the surgeries.

As for her experience with the doctors and staff at Resurgens Orthopaedics, Michelle says she’s thrilled with her decision to go to Dr. Kim, saying, “I am so happy with the care and the results; I just can’t say enough good things about them… Dr. Kim is wonderful.”

Michelle, all of us here at Resurgens Orthopaedics thank you for your comments and we hope your new hips enable you to continue doing all your favorite activities for many years to come!

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