“One of the reasons we moved to Granbury was to be able to enjoy the outdoors, to enjoy nature, the animals and everything else,” Pat said, remembering how limited she was by pain in her body that was steadily getting worse.
A turning moment for Pat happened one early fall day when she could barely walk. With her son planning to marry that November, Pat didn’t know how she would be able to participate in this milestone moment with her family.
“I was going to be there, no matter what,” Pat said. “But am I going to be in a wheelchair? Will I have a cane? Will I be able to dance with my son and celebrate?”
Pat turned to David Shau, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Texas Hip and Knee Center, a Texas Health Physicians Group practice, who is a member of the medical staff of Texas Health Southwest. Dr. Shau operates at Texas Health Clearfork, a premier destination for joint care® and part of Texas Health Southwest.
“Her cartilage was completely worn out; it was bone on bone,” Dr. Shau said. Pat’s right hip suffered from osteoarthritis, he explained, and in addition to the lack of cartilage, she also had bone spurs throughout her hip.
A total hip replacement was recommended for Pat. Dr. Shau emphasized that a personal approach to joint replacement is needed for each and every patient. There are many options to consider, he explained, “Total hip replacement can be accomplished through a variety of surgical approaches, including direct anterior, lateral, posterior lateral and more. Surgeons on the medical staff may also employ the use of robotics to assist them in the surgeries and may also use minimally invasive techniques.
Dr. Shau further emphasized that everything from a patient’s specific diagnosis to their unique anatomy, lifestyle and goals factor into decisions on which approach to use. “We like to focus on personalized care. Everybody needs something different, everyone’s anatomy is different,” he said. “We make that decision with the patient and talk about the pros and cons.”
When Pat decided to move forward with a total hip replacement, a joint coordinator at Texas Hip and Knee Center helped prepare Pat and her family with the information they would need to know before, during and after the joint replacement process. Educational classes Pat attended helped supplement the one-on-one support she received.
After her successful hip replacement, Pat is enjoying the lifestyle she moved to Granbury to experience.
“I am now able to do everything I love to do – we can enjoy the outdoors, I can enjoy my gardening,” she said. “I can walk again, and I can hike again.” Pat can often be found outside, feeding geese or digging in her garden.
Pat was also on the center of the dance floor at her son’s wedding reception that November, swaying with him in the ceremonial mother-son dance.
Pat beams when recounting that memory, one in which she was able to be fully present rather than riddled with pain, “The best part was that I was able to participate in my son’s wedding,” she said. “I was able to dance with him.”