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Published on October 16, 2013

Pam Ferdinand – Hip Replacement Patient – KishHealth System Joint Center

Pam FerdinandPam Ferdinand, a retired high school French teacher, was experiencing pain in her right hip. The pain was steadily worsening, so in May of 2012, she went to see Orthopedic Surgeon Rajeev Jain, MD, who diagnosed her with osteoarthritis and recommended physical therapy. She went to physical therapy, and then continued with an at-home program. Pam said, “I followed that program faithfully at home and it helped for a while. However, the hip was apparently deteriorating slowly.” At this point, Pam was avoiding doing things that required walking or standing for any period of time, though she did go to Disney World with her family where she used a scooter to get around. She said, “It opened up a whole new world for me. I was able to get around to every place I wanted to go without holding my family back.” She was glad to experience this sense of independence, but was looking forward to a time when she could get around on her own again.

In April of 2013, she went back to Dr. Jain. This time he treated Pam’s osteoarthritis with a cortisone shot and suggested another round of physical therapy, but the relief only lasted a couple of days. Dr. Jain then referred her to Physiatrist Jacinthe Malalis, DO, who gave her two cortisone injections, but again it was only a short term fix. Over time, her pain did not resolve and her hip continued to deteriorate. In June, Dr. Jain suggested a hip replacement.

Though the decision had been made for Pam to have the hip replacement surgery, she really wanted to finish the summer before having it. The surgery was scheduled for September, so in the meantime, Pam continued to do the things she loves, like attending two White Sox games. She used a wheelchair. “By choosing to put the surgery off, I was able to attend a few weddings, lots of pool parties, some Broadway plays in Chicago,” said Pam. “But I was starting to question my decision to wait because the pain was definitely escalating.”

In order to prepare for the surgery, Pam read and reread the Joint Care Guidebook she received at the class she and her husband attended at the KishHealth System Joint Center. She called the book, “Absolutely invaluable—the guidebook gave me step by step instructions for the exercises.” She performed all of the exercises in the book to strengthen her muscles for an easier recovery post-surgery.  She also felt more prepared for the surgery itself. “The class and the guidebook explain what to expect. It takes a lot of the fear out of it.”

After the surgery, Pam was impressed by the care she received right away in the hospital. “Dave Smith (Joint Center coordinator), all the nurses, and CNA’s were amazing.” She even recognized one of her former French students, Physical Therapist Megan Griffey. Pam felt like she was in really good hands, seeing faces she recognized and knowing they were experts in her care. “Who could not love Dr. Jain?” Pam commented. “You feel like he’s treating you like a family member. Outstanding.” 

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