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Chesterfield resident champions patient choice after successful hip operation

Company news

When dancing her way into 2014 on New Year’s Eve this year, Chesterfield resident Elise Bonham felt a sharp pain in her hips.

The severe pain she felt while bopping along to her favourite songs had bothered her on and off for almost two years, but this night on the dance floor spelled the final straw.

After New Year, the 63 year old went to see her GP who told her she would need a replacement of both hips. She was offered the choice of two providers; the local hospital or Care UK’s Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre.

Elise who also enjoyed keeping active by walking and going to the gym said she had heard good things from friends and family about Barlborough where clinicians perform at least four hip replacement operations a day. It also had one of the shortest local waiting times at four to six weeks compared to the national average of more than 12 weeks.

As an avid gardener, Elise was worried undergoing the operation could mean she wouldn’t be back in her garden in time for spring, however just three months after the treatment she was back to her beloved gardening.

Commenting on her road to recovery, she said it’s being able to do the simple things again that she looks forward to the most “putting my right sock on will be a milestone, at the moment it’s driving me mad. Also not having to sleep on my back and being able to sleep on my side again will be a significant improvement for me.”

When asking friends and family advice on where to go, Elise said it was her neighbour who was in the perfect position to make a recommendation. The neighbour’s elderly mother had undergone a full-hip replacement in two stages. She had one hip replaced at the local hospital and the other at Care UK’s treatment centre. Currently over 97 per cent of former patients have stated they would recommend the centre to their friends and family.

The neighbour recommended Barlborough as it has no cases of hospital acquired MRSA, short waiting times and provides excellent patient care. She said her mother had a really positive experience at the treatment centre. 

Speaking about her treatment Elise said: “I was terrified at the prospect of such a big operation but I took comfort in hearing from people I knew had been to Barlborough and had a pleasant experience there. I decided I’d rather go there as it had the best reputation for this kind of surgery and it was close to my home.”

Since the operation she has been following the post-operative exercises given by her physiotherapist three times a day and is slowly returning to all her activities. She said: “I don’t think I will ever forget to do the exercises. You find yourself improving every day.”

Now on the mend and virtually pain free, Elise wants to spread the word to others that they needn’t be fearful of the operation: “The actual procedure doesn’t hurt. Naturally it’s not completely pain free, you do have some pain in the days following but the nursing staff are constantly monitoring you and adjusting your pain relief medication accordingly.”

Care UK orthopedic surgeon Mr Fred Farlin said one of the key actions a patient can take to ensure a speedy recovery is to follow the exercises provided by their physiotherapist.

Mr Farlin’s top five tips for those recovering from a full hip replacement include:

  1. Avoid bending your hip to more than a right angle, or 90 degrees, during any activity
  2. Try to avoid twisting your hip
  3. Avoid lying on your side where possible
  4. Don’t cross your legs over each other
  5. Don’t force the hip to do anything that makes it feel uncomfortable.

Meanwhile Elise’s advice to others facing a hip replacement is to “ just go for it. I can now sit and stand up without my hip joints locking in pain, which is the most amazing feeling.”

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