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University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center helps Wickliffe resident regain mobility with state-of-the-art Total Hip Replacement

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mary Ann Surtz walks with zero discomfort after years of arthritis pain

Richmond Heights, Ohio – In the fall of 2011, Mary Ann Surtz of Wickliffe decided it was time to do something about the constant pain in her right hip. That meant she would have to stop all the activities she loves for a short time. “I didn’t really pay attention to the pain because I was so busy,” says Surtz, 75, “but I could feel the bones moving in my hip, and that’s what was bothering me the most.”

She was referred to Robert Corn, MD, FACS, FAAOS, Director of Orthopaedics at University Hospitals (UH) Richmond Medical Center, a campus of UH Regional Hospitals. He recommended Total Hip Replacement. “Hers was a very typical scenario with individuals severely debilitated by osteoarthritis of the hip,” says Dr. Corn, who is board certified in orthopaedic surgery. “The joint had failed, it was the sole problem preventing her from moving without pain, and so we expected a completely successful outcome. Mary Ann is a great example of what surgical intervention can do to restore the level of activity a person wants to enjoy.”

For Surtz, that level of activity includes serving as board treasurer for the Wickliffe Senior Center, cleaning at her chapel each week, working with elementary school students and quilting. Her enjoyment was being compromised by her arthritis, which wore out her hip joint’s cartilage and caused bone to rub on bone. This caused one of Surtz’s legs to be three-quarters of an inch shorter than the other, which meant she wasn’t walking properly.

Surgery was the only option. Dr. Corn performed Surtz’s Total Hip procedure at UH Richmond Medical Center in January 2012. “Through a small incision, we replaced the pelvis side of the hip joint and the upper end of the thigh bone with metallic implants,” says Dr. Corn. “We were also able to equalize Mary Ann’s leg length, which was important to her.”

“After my hip replacement, I wasn’t in any pain at all,” says Surtz, who lives ten minutes from UH Richmond Medical Center. “They had me up on my feet the first day, walking short distances.” Surtz completed her physical therapy program at the hospital in April 2012. “I worked one-on-one with two different therapists to strengthen the muscles around the new joint,” she says. “Now I have perfect balance.”

Almost two years after her surgery, Surtz is enjoying all her activities without pain. “I realized I hadn’t walked correctly for a very long time,” says Surtz. “I felt like I was free, like I didn’t have to worry anymore and that’s a really great feeling. Dr. Corn did a wonderful job and they treat you so well at UH Richmond Medical Center.”

To learn more about Total Hip and all of the leading-edge joint replacement procedures accessible close to home at UH Richmond Medical Center, or to schedule an orthopaedic consultation, call 440-585-7323.

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