My wise and talented PT Jill Esterson made a couple of observations that helped me to decide to pursue hip replacement sooner rather than later. First, while most people couldn't see it, she could see the ways my body was accommodating to the reality of a compromised hip joint with less-than-optimal movement patterns. A hip joint can be replaced, but not so much the vertebrae of the low back! (I was experiencing more twinges and pain in my right low back.) From my years of teaching Pilates and doing movement therapy, I knew about the painful consequences of years of dysfunctional movement patterns on the way an individual moves and feels. I wanted to minimize that, so sooner rather than later made sense to me.
I began to research surgeons in my insurance plan who had a good reputation for doing total hip replacements. Long story short, I spent a beautiful summer evening talking to my friend and colleague Paula Josa-Jones about her hip replacement surgeries, and was convinced that Dr. Stephen Murphy was the right surgeon for me. Why? Because he was an engineer and developed 3-D devices to help seat the leg back in the hip as precisely as possible. Because he was well-known in his field as an innovator, a teacher, and a successful surgeon who focused on hips and knees. Because the approach to surgery he typically used was minimally invasive and resulted in no movement restrictions afterward. And because my friend Paula was doing so well, 15 years after having both hips replaced. I saw her perform a dance she had choreographed that was full of movement challenges, and she "nailed" it. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I knew an artificial hip would never be quite the same as the original one, but I wanted it to come pretty close. So I made an appointment with Dr. Murphy for October 1. 2018, three and a half years after the pain in my hip started showing up at night. It was an almost 3-month wait to get an appointment, but my pain-management program was still working for me pretty well, so the wait was not a problem.