As a self-employed backhoe operator, Don Creek’s work is extremely physical, requiring him to climb in and out of his equipment on the job site. So when his left hip began bothering him nearly two years ago, he pushed through the pain. “I would just grit my teeth and bear it,” Don says. “But eventually, the pain became so bad I couldn’t sleep, work, or even walk. That’s when I decided it was time to have my hip replaced.”
Because Don’s wife, Carol, is a nurse, she wanted him to have a special kind of surgery called an anterior supine intermuscular hip procedure. This surgery is minimally invasive since no muscles are cut during exposure of the hip joint. It permits the most rapid return to activities possible after surgery and minimizes the risk of hip dislocation, a problem sometimes seen with traditional hip replacement surgery.
Don and Carol decided to have Jeffrey Salin, D.O., an orthopaedic surgeon on staff at Research Medical Center, perform his hip replacement. “I went through the Joint Camp process,” Don says, “including reading through all of the patient education information and doing the exercises recommended before the surgery.”
In fact, Don credits the minimally invasive surgery Dr. Salin performed and the exercises he practiced before surgery with his rapid recovery from the procedure. “I was very motivated to get up and get moving as soon as possible after surgery, and that’s exactly what I did,” he says.
The morning after Dr. Salin replaced Don’s hip, he walked to therapy in Joint Camp and was the only patient to walk up and down stairs. “I could barely hobble up and down stairs before surgery, so that was very exciting for me.”
Don continued to recover quickly, returning home in just three days. “My first day home I walked with two crutches, the next day one crutch, and third day I was on my own,” he says.
Even though it was winter, Don made the effort to continue walking every day, traveling from his Peculiar home to Mill Walk Mall in nearby Harrisonville. “By the time I went back for my two-week check-up, I was walking a mile and a half. Dr. Salin couldn’t believe it,” he adds.
Today, Don is back at work and looking forward to continuing his long-time hobby, truck pulling. “My hip had become so painful last summer, it was difficult for me to drive my truck,” he says. “Using my left leg to push the clutch in was extremely painful, but I am ready to go this summer.”
Don says his entire experience at Joint Camp was better than he ever anticipated and one he highly recommends for anyone facing a joint replacement. “Everyone at Joint Camp was wonderful. I had excellent care. My only regret is that I put the surgery off for so long. I feel so great. I should have done this sooner.”