In February 2019, Beth was vacationing in the Bahamas when she suddenly felt a terrible and debilitating pain in her right hip. Although she’d had back issues over the years, this pain was different.
“It was horrible,” says Beth, 71. “I should have been enjoying the sun and sand. But I was in agony. I couldn’t even walk to the beach.”
She went to a local doctor who gave her a cortisone shot, but the pain grew worse. By the time Beth headed home to Hermitage, Pa., four weeks later, she needed a wheelchair to get through the airport and came home on crutches.
When she returned, she immediately went to see Edward Uberti, DO, her orthopaedic surgeon at UPMC Horizon in Farrell. An MRI and x-rays showed she had rapidly progressive osteoarthritis of the hip.
When Beth learned she needed immediate hip replacement surgery, she was relieved. Her pain had become so debilitating, she could no longer keep up her busy lifestyle, including a five-day-a week workout routine — five miles on the treadmill, 100-pound leg press, and 10-pound arm weights.
“Something had to be done. I couldn’t live that way,” she says. “All I could do was cry. I couldn’t even lift my leg a half inch off the bed.”
In April 2019, Beth underwent surgery at UPMC Horizon, Shenango Valley Campus. That evening, she walked to the bathroom in her hospital room.
“The pain was totally gone. I felt like I was 16 again,” she says.
The Road to Recovery
Before leaving the hospital two days later, Beth was walking the halls and even climbed some steps. She continued daily in-home physical therapy over the next two weeks followed by several weeks of outpatient physical therapy.
By May, she was driving again. That summer, she was putting in a garden and working out at the gym. Best of all, says Beth, she was happy to spend time with her grandson again.
“I was so grateful to be out of pain, to be able to walk again, and to get where I needed to go,” says Beth, adding that her hip is “absolutely perfect now.”
Her other hip is functioning just fine, adds Beth. But if she ever develops a problem, she knows exactly what to do.
“I would go back in a heartbeat,” says Beth. “Dr. Uberti and everyone at UPMC Horizon was just wonderful. They were friendly, caring and kind.”