Lisa's Story: Riding Again After Total Hip Replacement
As Lisa climbed onto her leather saddle
and tightened her legs around the sides of her beloved horse, she thought back
on a day, eight weeks prior, when she believed she would never ride a horse
again. Lisa had been a devoted equestrian her entire life, as well as a horse
trainer for more than 20 years, and the thought of giving up her passion broke
her heart. This is her story:
Problems Since Birth
I was sure that
one day I would have to face the harsh reality of giving up my active lifestyle
and passion as a horse trainer, caving into the use of a walker or wheelchair.
I was born with
severe hip dysplasia, most commonly known as developmental dysplasia of the hip
(DHH). My hips had a 90 degree rotation. Even as a growing teen, I was warned
by numerous orthopedic specialists that I would likely need hip replacement
surgery by the time I was 35 years old. Although I lived my life fearlessly and
turned my hobby of horseback riding into a career and passion, I lived with
constant pain and discomfort, with the awkwardness in my hips on a daily basis.
The Dark Cloud
One day, my life
took a turn. I had just returned from a riding trip in Portugal and was in
tremendous pain. I could barely walk and after several days, the feeling of
relief was nowhere in sight. Though I had lived my entire life with discomfort
and pain, at 58 years old with no strength and no ability to use my right leg,
I was discouraged. I tried to ignore the pain and get on my horse, but
immediately fell to the ground. I was devastated. This new reality engulfed me
like a dark cloud.
What will I do if
I can't ride again? How can I replace a passion I've built my life around? How
will I redefine myself? I am a horseback rider! I can't let this happen to me.
Finding a Solution
I wasn't going to
let hip pain define me any longer. I knew I needed to act fast, so I contacted
the Joint Center at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center.
The first thing that stuck out to me about the Joint Center was the experienced
staff and the abundance of information about hip pain treatments they had
available to me. They held a workshop that explained in-depth the details of
joint replacement surgery. This abundance of information provided comfort and
understanding about the journey I was soon to embark on.
When I met Dr.
Rabah Qadir, an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann The
Woodlands Medical Center, I was sold! He was very confident and knowledgeable
as he explained the joint replacement procedure. What really feel comfortable
in my decision was his understanding of my passion of teaching and riding and
my fear of never being able to ride again. He discussed certain precautions
associated with joint replacement surgery and then looked me in the eye and
said, "You will ride again."
When I woke from
surgery, a nurse from the Joint Center greeted me, checked my vitals, and said
it was time to get up and walk. I was taken aback by the confidence in her
voice and realized it wasn't an order. It was assurance that walking was going
to be easily doable! And it was. I was able to get up and walk. I couldn't
believe it. It felt right and my body was straight and aligned. In just 24
hours and two physical therapy sessions later, I was able to leave and begin my
Getting Back On The Horse
Eight weeks later,
my right leg gently skimmed over my horse's back and I sat down on the saddle.
Sitting there, I began to tear up, but I had the same confidence the nurse had
after my surgery. Of course I can do this! Why not? I pressed both of my legs
into my horse's side. Let's get to work and ride.