By Jacob Hansen
Jean Saya is 61 years old and the busy owner of Cal Skate Roller Blading and Skate Center in Rohnert Park, California. Recently, Jean underwent hip replacement surgery at Kaiser Permanente. This is a story of her experience going through surgery and the process of recovery.
Jean had a progressively deteriorating hip joint. She had arthritis in the hip, which was a problem the past ten years. A year and a half ago, she experienced an extreme pain in her hip socket which was caused by a fractured pelvis from a bone cyst. Bone cysts are quite common in arthritic joints. Kaiser Permanente offered this surgical procedure as an option to Jean a year before the bone cysts became known. However, Jean wasn’t ready to undergo a surgery at that point and only chose surgery after she could no longer perform her daily activities.
When Jean finally did decide to do the surgery, there weren’t really other options at that point due to how severely the bone cysts had damaged the hip joint. At this point Kaiser offered Jean to have the surgery six weeks later. Unfortunately, this didn’t work with Jean’s schedule and she postponed the surgery another six months. Then, she called Kaiser and the surgery got put on the calendar for six weeks later.
Before the surgery, Jean took advantage of some classes to educate future surgery patients about the details of the Kaiser hip surgery procedure. She went to two of these classes and was able to get all of her questions answered and feel more comfortable about what she was getting into.
Jean also met with an anesthesiologist to discuss which type of anesthesia would be best for her. She ended up choosing a “spinal”. This was described to Jean as her being semi-conscious throughout the procedure. She didn’t feel the needle go in and doesn’t remember even laying down after the shot. She woke up a few hours later, surprised that the surgery was already over!
Jean’s husband got a phone call an hour and fifteen minutes after the surgery, letting him know that the procedure was successful and complete. Kaiser Permanente advised that, normally, a hip surgery takes a minimum of 2 hours, but Jean’s surgeon in particular is known for his speed and efficiency, so it was a lot shorter.
Jean had some minor complications with her blood pressure and temperature and, therefore, wasn’t discharged in the normal two days. She spent an extra day in the hospital and went home the following day.
Unfortunately Jean had to push to get physical therapy. Immediately after surgery, a physical therapist came to her home four times. However, at that point she didn’t feel her body was ready for physical therapy. Jean thought that after the home visits, she would go to the hospital in order to continue physical therapy, but that was not offered to her. Eight weeks after the surgery, she approached her surgeon and told him that she felt stuck. Jean wasn’t progressing as fast as she wanted to. He said that most people don’t need physical therapy and they are fully recovered in a year. Jean didn’t want her recovery to take a year and explained this to her surgeon. At that, he approved her for additional physical therapy treatments.
Now, just three and a half months after surgery Jean is skating, walking the dogs, and climbing stairs without pain! It took her three weeks to get back to work and an additional week to be able to drive. In Jean’s words “My life has only been improved by this surgery. I should have done it sooner.” At this point Jean is not pain free, but there is no pain in the hip joint itself. There is still muscular pain around the hip. However, Jean can see light at the end of the tunnel and believes she will be pain free soon! If you are interested in more information on Kaiser Permanente, click Affordable Medical Insurance.