Vicki Flanders

Vicki Flanders

Active Grandmother feels like a new woman after anterior hip replacement

If anyone tells Vicki Flanders she can’t do something, she is going to do it. From climbing trees to being the “fun grandma” that can keep up with her grandchildren, there is really nothing that she won’t try. After all, she is a healthy and active 69-year-old woman.

“I am always going a mile a minute,” she jokes.

But in 2021, she started to experience back and eventually knee pain. She was going to the chiropractor for adjustments, but there was no permanent relief. Her chiropractor finally told her that she couldn’t fix her problem and she needed to see an orthopedic specialist.

Within weeks, Vicki was at OrthoIllinois where she had an initial X-Ray and eventually an MRI which showed arthritis in her hip and Avascular necrosis (AVN) which is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply which can lead to tiny breaks in the bone and cause the bone to collapse.

Quickly after her diagnosis, Vicki met Dr. Mark Oyer, who shared that there are treatments to slow the progression of AVN, but in her case, a hip replacement would be needed. He also mentioned that the pain would continue to get worse until she had the procedure.

“I am so happy I ended up with Dr. Oyer,” Vicki shared. “He has a great bedside manner and really takes the time to explain everything and let you ask questions. He is so reassuring and alleviates your fears.”

Dr. Oyer suggested that Vicki have an anterior total hip replacement. This minimally invasive procedure gets patients back on their feet much sooner than the conventional posterior hip replacement but with the same high-quality results. And Dr. Oyer is one of only a few orthopedic surgeons performing the procedure locally.

“Dr. Oyer told me he thought I was really going to like this new and innovative procedure and that it would do wonders for me,” she continues. “He referred to it as a bikini cut, but I joked I wouldn’t be wearing a bikini anytime in the future.”

During an anterior procedure, a small three-to-four-inch incision is made on the front of the hip and surgeons work between the muscles to replace the hip. This approach, because it’s less invasive than the posterior hip replacement, is less painful and usually requires less pain medication afterwards.

Vicki had her surgery on February 18, 2022, and was so happy she did. She felt like a new woman after it was completed. Vicki did not have to participate in physical therapy, used a walker for just a few days, only took pain medication for two days and was back to work within a week. She said the “worst” part was the compression socks she had to wear afterwards, but she was able to stop using those two weeks earlier than expected due to her wonderful recovery.

“I am so glad Dr. Oyer recognized my active lifestyle and recommended this procedure,” Vicki said. “I tell you what, OrthoIllinois is lucky to have him. He is something special and I feel so fortunate I got him as a doctor.”

Today, Vicki is functioning like someone with a brand-new hip doing everything she did before (except climbing trees).

“I would recommend this procedure to anyone,” she continues. “You don’t need to be in pain. It can get better.”