After living in pain for a whole year, Leslie Sheaffer had surgery for her osteoarthritis, feeling instant relief after hip replacement surgery.
“I had terrible back pain,” says Leslie Sheaffer of Reedsville. “It was to the point where my husband said, ‘you can’t live like this anymore.’”
The 49-year-old, who works at a childcare center, experienced chronic soreness in her back and felt like her leg was going to give out. “I had pain that would shoot from my hip to my ankle. I’m up and down with the kids all day, so I knew I had to get this fixed.”
Family history of degenerative hip disease
Leslie learned she had osteoarthritis (commonly called OA), a degenerative disease that occurs when inflammation and injury to a joint cause the breakdown of cartilage tissue. Cartilage reduces friction in the joints and serves as a shock absorber, which Leslie no longer had.
Osteoarthritis symptoms include:
- Bone spurs
With degenerative hip disease running in her family—Leslie’s mom had her hip replaced when she was 53-years-old—Leslie learned that she had a hereditary hip problem and a congenital hip dislocation. “In addition to the pain I always had, I had one leg that was shorter than the other,” says Leslie. “And that’s because my hip bone was weakening.”
Walking with no pain the night after surgery
When Leslie decided to get surgery to correct her hip, Dr. Dennis M DeVita, a board-certified general orthopaedic surgeon at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital, performed her surgery.
“On the day of surgery, I was Dr. DeVita’s first patient. It all went so quickly! When I came out, Dr. DeVita checked on me and told me my legs and feet were even. I was so happy. Later that evening, I was walking in my room. Can you believe it?”
Almost one year has passed since her surgery and Leslie feels great.
“My pain level right after surgery was a zero. And it’s a zero today. If I could offer advice to anyone walking around in crippling pain, it’s to go see your doctor. Go sooner rather than later. I waited a year and wish I didn’t.”