Ruth Ziegler– Ballet Teacher with Bilateral Resurfacing
Date of Surgery: April 6,2006
Surgeon: Harlan Amstutz, Head Joint Replacement Institute Los Angeles, CA
Hospital: Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, CA
Prior to surgery:
I noticed a stinging tightness in both hip joints after dancing, probably since I was about 40 years old. It always went away with normal rest. I had full range of motion, strength, endurance, etc. and so I thought this was what everyone felt after taking class or performing. I really didn’t have any significant pain or limitations until early in 2005, when things went "downhill" extremely quickly.
My medical diagnosis was primary osteoarthritis, but in the course of the actual surgery, Dr. Amstutz determined that I had undiagnosed mild to moderate hip displasia as well.
In my year of trying to believe my osteoarthritis was anything but osteoarthritis, I tried acupuncture (it helped briefly with the pain) chiropractic adjustments (didn’t help at all) prolotherapy (actually made the inflammation in my hip joints a lot worse) massage (helped briefly with the muscle tension) physical therapy (helped keep me as strong and flexible as was possible) and dietary supplements (didn’t help and were very expensive).
As my pain increased and my physical abilities decreased, I stopped (in chronological order) doing full split penchees, doing grand plie in fourth position, doing developees on a straight supporting leg, taking class five days a week, taking class more than three days a week, taking group class at all, doing a whole yoga class, teaching children’s ballet, teaching adult ballet, walking long distances, walking any distance beyond my mail box, walking without the help of a cane, doing anything but staying in my house all day, everyday and doing water aerobics in my spa and gentle range of motion work with my stability ball in my bedroom. I couldn’t go Christmas shopping in December of 2005 because I couldn’t walk in the stores. I had to bribe myself with tea and chocolates to get through the pain it felt to decorate my Christmas tree – it took a whole week to put a few lights and ornaments on that tree! If I needed to go to the grocery store, I would find a parking spot close to a shopping cart, so I could ue that cart as a "walker" so I could buy the groceries I needed. I had to force myself to stand at the sink to put on my makeup each morning, and eventually I had to stop and sit down after about 10 minutes to lessen the pain so I could continue again. My husband was my "knight in shining armor" through all of this – he continued to help me in every way he could.
My descent was very fast – from the time my joints were finally bone on bone, it was only about one year before I reached the physical "low" I described in the previous paragraph. I was fortunate in a way, because I was able to maintain good strength and range of motion up until that last year prior to surgery. I did not have a slow decline and therefore was (relatively speaking) quite fit.