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Jan Nowicki had outpatient hip replacement at the surgery center

Posted on: May 19th, 2016 by Dhopkins

Jan Nowicki was a good candidate for outpatient hip replacement at the Ortho Illinois Surgery Center. She had a hip replacement done with Dr. Antonacci near the end of April, 2016.

We had a chance to sit down with her and talk about her experience and what motivated Jan to pursue hip replacement.


I retired from teaching three years ago. A year later, I started experiencing a lot of hip pain, which kept me from being active. It continually worsened to the point where I couldn’t sit, stand, or sleep without a great deal of discomfort.

My primary care doctor referred me to an orthopedic surgeon where I was encouraged to take pain pills or immediately have a hip replacement. I wasn’t ready for either one of those.

I asked for a second opinion and came to OrthoIllinois to see Dr. Antonacci–I love Dr. Antonacci. He informed me that my pain was a bursa in the side, and a hip replacement would not have helped me at the time.

Instead, I had a cortisone shot and physical therapy. Two rounds of that allowed me to make it another two years–we’re pretty active with swimming and biking. During the last three months, I couldn’t really move without pain, so I visited Dr. Antonacci again and xrays showed that my hip was bone on bone.

I decided to pursue a hip replacement at that time.

Dr. Antonacci mentioned that I had a choice–insurance had just approved having the procedure done at the surgery center–of going to the hospital and staying overnight or having outpatient replacement surgery at the surgery center.

I felt safer at the surgery center–I’m kind of a germophobe after 24 years of teaching.

I was so impressed with the surgery center. The facility was beautiful and the staff were wonderful. In fact, I knew three of the nurses from Winnebago where I taught them and some of their children!

I felt so comfortable that I wasn’t even nervous, just excited to get it over with because of the pain.

If I remember correctly, it only took about 2.5 hours from when I was wheeled back to when I came out of surgery. I woke up and the nurses came in to check on me continually. “What do you need? What can I get you?” They were wonderful! Then, a physical therapist came over from the clinic next door and had me standing up (which was amazing). That was within 4 hours of the surgery being over.
We walked for a bit, and then I took a short cat nap before I was up and walking again.

Then, they told me I could go home if I was ready.

I went home by 2PM.

Now, I’m three weeks out from surgery, and I have no pain, compared to what I had before. I used a walker for the first two weeks. I have a cane, but I don’t really need it or use it.

I’m currently in physical therapy and feeling stronger all the time.

I will say that I favor my other leg a little bit, but I think I’m just being cautious just for the sake of being cautious. I can go up and down the stairs now, cautiously, of course.

I’m so happy I did it. I almost wish I had done it sooner.

I am so impressed that within two weeks, I have less pain than before the surgery.

And Dr. Antonacci put me at ease. He’s confident with his diagnosis, which is exactly what I want from my doctor.

Also, He always asked me if I had any questions about the procedure, but I didn’t want to know. I was comfortable with Dr. Antonacci and trusted him. I know he would have explained the whole thing to me, but I was happier not knowing ☺

I’m so glad that Dr. Antonacci used the anterior approach as well. It made the whole thing so much easier.

I’m so happy because I feel so much better. It took a toll on me before. My hip would give out when I would turn sometimes. I had pain before, but I also had weakness, which made me nervous and anxious.

But not anymore. Not, I feel great.