Three New Knees, One New Hip
Co-workers Take On Joint Replacements
Before Joanne Haines left for a vacation from her job at Sam’s Club last spring, she had parting words for co-worker John Lang: “When I get back, you’d better get going on fixing your hip.”
“And when she got back, I was gone, recuperating from hip replacement surgery,” recalled Mr. Lang, of Stevensville. Mrs. Haines, 71, knew from experience that it’s grueling to live with constant pain and, often, unnecessary. The Edgewater resident had a left knee replacement in August 2006, followed by a right knee replacement in February 2007, both by orthopedic surgeon James MacDonald, M.D.
“It was bone on bone, and it hurt,” said Mrs. Haines of her knee problems. She has worked at Sam’s Club for 15 years, most of them on her feet as a greeter. “The pain just got to be too much. I couldn’t sit down; and pain medication ?.ahh, I’m not gung ho on it.”
Last year she noticed Mr. Lang, a meat cutter, having difficulty sitting in a chair in the lunchroom. “The poor soul couldn’t even sit down!” she exclaimed. “I said, ‘John, you’ve got to have the hip taken care of!’”
Mr. Lang, 61, initially thought the pain in his left hip was caused by a hernia he suffered several years ago. A veteran of a right knee replacement two years ago—which he admits he put off for “about 15 years,” Mr. Lang returned to the surgeon who performed the surgery, Louis Ruland, M.D., for an examination. “He told me it looked like I needed a hip replacement, and he referred me to his partner, Dr. (Paul) King,” he said. “Dr. King told me I wouldn’t have any pain after the surgery, and he was right.”
Mrs. Haines and Mr. Lang both agree that sticking with physical therapy after surgery is crucial to terrific outcomes like theirs. “The key is rehab,” said Mrs. Haines. “I knew I needed to do it to make it well. Don’t ever be afraid.”