Patient Credits Remarkable Recovery to WVMC’s Joint Replacement Institute

WVMC’S Innovative Joint Replacement Program Helps Patients Recover Quickly

A yoga practitioner and avid hiker from Kodiak, Alaska, Patricia Ossowski had always considered herself fit and capable. However, eight years ago, she began to experience pain in her hips that would come and go, but not fully resolve with rest or stretching.  She remembers getting an x-ray in 2008 that showed arthritis in both of her hips and thinking, “That can’t possibly be right—I’m too young for that.”  

Eventually, the pain limited her ability to practice yoga and became so bad that common activities, such as grocery shopping, became problematic. Patricia said, “I had trouble walking and was getting meaner and grouchier the more time passed and the less I was able to do.  The pain eventually became unbearable.”

In June of 2015, she knew something was seriously wrong and that she needed to see an orthopedic specialist for further evaluation.  She had been seen by other providers in Kodiak, but had been told that she was too young for surgery or that there were not many options available to her. After further investigation and after talking to friends and family, Patricia scheduled an appointment with orthopedist Dr. Michael Vessely in McMinnville, Oregon. After her initial consultation with Dr. Vessely, Patricia said, “I finally felt confident in my options.”

Patricia had not had a major surgery before and understandably, wanted to learn more about total joint replacement and about Willamette Valley Medical Center’s Joint Replacement Institute before deciding what to do.

“My mother (a long-time hospital volunteer) had heard such positive feedback from both patients and other volunteers about Dr. Vessely and the Institute—it was very reassuring.”  

She also talked to friends about their surgical experiences elsewhere. Because of the patient-focused approach offered at WVMC’s Joint Replacement Institute, Patricia decided to move forward with total hip replacement surgery on both of her hips. She had left hip replacement surgery in April of 2016 followed by right hip replacement surgery three months later in July 2016.  

Patricia’s recovery was remarkable—after her first surgery, the pain in her hip was gone, and more importantly, she felt like she could trust her hip joint again.

“My hip felt solid, not like it was going to give out on me.”

Her second surgery was even better than the first and three weeks after surgery she is gradually working back to longer walks and gentle yoga. Patricia looks forward to returning to other activities she enjoys such as hiking where she can get out on uneven terrain and “not slow everyone down anymore”.  

Patricia credits her recovery to the team approach and exceptional care provided at the Joint Replacement Institute.

“The experience was so complete, from my first call to the clinic to education before surgery and all of the follow-up care afterward. I got up and walked the same day as surgery–the emphasis on movement was so helpful. Everyone was thorough and kind, and I was confident that nothing would fall through the cracks or get missed. This high level of care and attention to detail decreased my worry which helped me recover more quickly with less medication than I would have otherwise.”


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