Getting hip with it

"My job is very active and I'm constantly on-the-go," explains Judi, who – with her husband Roger – runs and owns a grocery store in a small town in central Wisconsin. "I depend on my mobility to be able to do my job."

But her mobility was abruptly interrupted during the winter of 2018 when she slipped on some ice while shoveling snow at her store. At first, she thought she only pulled a muscle and was treated for such at a local orthopedic facility for several months.

"I continued to worsen, however," Judi says. "It got so bad that I couldn't sit in the car for rides to visit my children or grandchildren, I couldn't bend over without intense pain, and the pain was keeping me awake at night."

After repeated visits to her family doctor, an inevitable MRI revealed Judi had torn her hamstring as a result of her fall. After a local orthopedic surgeon explained that the surgery to repair her hamstring was too involved and then turned her away, Judi was disheartened.

"He told me I was too old to go through the surgery," says Judi. "I was 60 at the time of my fall, and he told me I just had to live with the pain. I felt hopeless, but my daughters encouraged me to get a second opinion."

That's when Judi decided to travel an hour and a half to meet Dr. Jon Henry, orthopedic surgeon at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

"After looking at the MRI and doing an exam, Dr. Henry told me that not only was my hamstring hanging on by a thread, but that I also had torn my gluteus medius," Judi articulates. "He told me that if I did nothing, I would continue to worsen."

 

Dr. Henry also explained that – with how complicated the surgery was – it would be a very difficult recovery with about a 9- to 12-month rehabilitation period.

"But what option did I have?" asks Judi, mother of seven and grandmother of eight.

Several physical therapy appointments later and just about a year after Judi's surgery, she's feeling healthy, energetic and better than she ever imagined.

"I can bend and walk and ride my bike," Judi enthusiastically states. "I am back to doing all of the things I enjoy. I put in a big garden this year and am enjoying the weeding and the harvesting without any pain. I went hiking just last week. And next week, I will get to dance at our daughter's wedding. I feel like I got my life back!"