Photo: Pam Gelinas, CMA, Susan Ledoux and Dr. Joseph Lellman, orthopedic surgeon at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital.
Two New Hips, a Happy Outcome
A Woman’s story about her journey through hip replacement
Ware-Susan Ledoux spent all day Monday in Boston helping her son move. “Seven months ago I could have never done this,” said Ledoux.When Ledoux arrived for her first appointment with Dr. Joseph Lellman, orthopedic surgeon at BMP- Mary Lane Orthopedics, who specializes in total joint reconstruction at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, she was using a collection of items to navigate throughout the day including a cane, wheelchair, and a walker.
Four years earlier Susan had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the back. As time passed she developed a limp and had difficulty walking. During a medical visit, Ledoux was told that the arthritis had progressed to both her hips. The recommendation for treatment was weight loss and medication to manage the pain.
"Daily life was difficult and I struggled every day,” said Ledoux. “Getting up and down was so challenging that I began to sit most of the day. I couldn’t carry anything, because I was always holding a cane. I was very unhappy and felt disabled by the pain.” Concerned about her future and worried that the arthritis in her hips would leave her unable to function independently; Susan decided to consult with Dr. Lellman.
During her visit with Dr. Lellman, an examination and review of the X-ray images taken at the hospital revealed that the osteoarthritis in her hips had progressed to a point that surgical repair called Total Hip Arthroplasty was the appropriate treatment. “The decision to proceed with surgery is usually governed by the severity of the disease as well as the degree to which the patient is disabled. I really felt that I could help improve the quality of Susan’s life,” said Dr. Lellman.
“Studies have revealed that arthritis of the hip is often related to subtle congenital hip abnormalities. It can also develop over years or fairly rapidly. Injury, wear and tear and a family history of arthritis also seem to play a part,” said Dr. Lellman. “It affects the cartilage in joints, causing it to break down until the bones, which were once kept apart by cartilage, rub against each other. This is not only painful but causes damage to the bones and tissue of the hip.” said Dr. Lellman.
“Dr. Lellman was genuinely concerned and very compassionate,” said Ledoux. “I have a hearing impairment and Dr. Lellman and his staff worked carefully with me to be sure that I understood what was wrong as well as the medical treatment and procedures I needed to get better.”
“Although most people would meet the thought of surgery, especially hip surgery, with reservations, I was relieved. I knew I could not go on as I was and was confident that after surgery, I would not be in the constant pain that I was experiencing every day,” said Ledoux.
In October of 2010 Susan came to Baystate Mary Lane Hospital where Dr. Lellman surgically repaired her left hip. Seven months later in May of 2011, Dr. Lellman once again performed surgery to repair her right hip. “I recovered very quickly, was in the hospital only three days followed by a short stay at a rehab center, then physical therapy. Today I feel great and am walking around normally,” said Ledoux.
“For many who have hip replacement, it can be life-changing,” said Dr. Lellman. “Newer surgical procedures to repair the hip are less invasive; offer fewer chances of complications, a shorter hospital stay and faster healing. Patients still have to adhere to dislocation precautions and avoid strenuous activities and sports, but they have greater mobility, better function and pain relief after surgical repair. The result is a sturdy hip that can last 20 years or longer. I have also seen great success in my patients that have partial and total knee replacement surgery,” noted Dr. Lellman.
“It is very satisfying to see Susan in my office, post-op, and walking without pain. She is truly an amazing person and is doing extremely well,” said Dr. Lellman, pleased to see her return to an active life. Back to doing so many activities that she enjoys, Ledoux attributes her successful outcome to her deep personal faith, her Mom and her friends. “And of course, Dr. Lellman, his medical assistant, Pam Gelinas and the staff at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital,” said Ledoux. “Walking independently and pain free is something that a few months ago I would not have believed possible.”
“From the specialist offering diagnostic procedures in the Radiology Department, the Surgical Services Team who offer both inpatient and outpatient surgical care, to the Physical Therapists from Baystate Rehabilitation at Mary Lane Hospital, we will ensure that all our patients receive excellent orthopedic care while remaining close to home and their loved ones,” said Dr. Lellman.
Dr. Lellman sees patients in two locations: Baystate Medical Practice Mary Lane Orthopedics, at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware or at 95 Sargent Street, Rt. 9 in Belchertown. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call the Baystate Medical Practice Mary Lane Orthopedics at 413-967-2577.
In attached photo: