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U.S. News and World Report: America's Best Hospitals, Orthopedics, 2014-2015

Patty Neumueller's Hip Replacement Surgery

Patty Neumueller underwent hip replacement surgery twice, performed by Dr. Richard Illgen. Here's her story.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you Dr. Illgen!

 

I'm a new woman thanks to you and all the staff in the UW Ortho department who assisted in my surgeries and rehab! I had both hips replaced, and I couldn't be happier with the results.

 

I have always been active, first as a jogger, and when that was no longer possible, long walks with my dog. As things worsened, I had to give that up, too. I stopped gardening because I couldn't bend down. I had to take elevators because walking up stairs was agony. I walked with a significant limp and had lots of pain. I was becoming less and less active, and my muscle tone took a dive. I was feeling much older than my 60 years. To say I was depressed was an understatement.

 

Dr. Illgen's diagnosis was osteoarthritis due to dysplasia (shallow hip sockets). The cartilage was gone and it was bone on bone in my hips. Even so, I was scared to have the surgery. It took three years after my diagnosis to get the courage to have the first hip done. I decided to go to the gym to recover what muscle tone I could before the surgery. I had heard that the better your muscle tone, the better your recovery. So I went to gym for two years while I got my confidence up for the first surgery.

 

My muscle tone did improve but of course my hips just got worse and worse. It finally got so bad that I made the appointment. I decided that surgery and recovery couldn't be any worse than what I was enduring every day.

 

I was right! Recovering from the surgery was hard work, but every two or three days I made progress. I did my PT faithfully and was back to work in five weeks. I went back to the gym to prepare for my second surgery and 15 months later I had my left hip replaced. I wondered, could this surgery and recovery go as smoothly as the first? The answer was a resounding yes!

 

It's been five months since my second surgery as I write this, and I feel marvelous. I now go up stairs and hills effortlessly, go on long walks with my dog, and tend to my gardens. I have my life back!

 

With deep gratitude, Patty Neumueller

 

Patty Neumueller can once again enjoy walks with her dog, Zoe, after having both hips replaced by UW Health Orthopedic Surgeon Richard Ilgen