Replacing The Pain

Parkwest patient has two hip replacements in 92 days

“The therapy team gets you out of your room and moving around during the day,” Pettit said. “You can do way more than you think.”
On a scale from 1 to 10, Steve Pettit ranked his hip pain “about a 3 or 4.” His Xrays said otherwise. “They were horrible,” Paul Naylor, MD, a Parkwest orthopedic surgeon, said. “He had very bad arthritis and the pain was affecting his ability to sleep, play golf and maintain his lifestyle.”
“If my life depended on picking up my keys from the floor, I couldn’t do it,” Pettit said. “Now I can.” Pettit’s journey to reclaiming his mobility and golf swing began when he moved back to East Tennessee from Ohio in 2013. His friends, Stephen Davis, MD, and Martin Davis, MD, both retired Parkwest gynecologists, referred him to Dr. Naylor when it was clear his hips needed to be replaced. “My internal medicine doctor did one X-ray and told me it wasn’t a matter of if, but when they’d be replaced,” Pettit explained. The decision to pursue a hip replacement came down to simple logic for the FSG Bank Senior Vice President. “I could have waited five years until the pain was unbearable to get them replaced or get them done now so I could experience 20 or more years without pain at all,” he said. “I decided to really fast track the process.” Pettit had his left hip replaced in May 2014. Just 92 days later, he was back in surgery for his right hip replacement. “My experience was so good the first time that I went right back to Dr. Naylor and asked how quickly I could get the next one done,” Pettit said. “It’s amazing what a radical change can be made in less than an hour of surgery,” said Dr. Naylor. “Our patients are walking the same day and working with physical and occupational therapists during their entire stay.” After both of Pettit’s hip surgeries, he was back to working full time in just a few days. He used a walker for about two weeks, then relied on a cane. Today, he uses no orthopedic support to move around. “I did what they told me to in therapy,” he said. “I really believe in doing it religiously.”
Pettit and some of his nurses in the orthopedic unit. “I can’t say enough good things about the staff,” he said. L to R: Lindsey Lewallen, Brittany Adams, Courtney Conner, Steve Pettit.
At the Joint Center at Parkwest, patients practice getting in and out of cars, climbing and descending stairs, and doing other activities that occur regularly in everyday life. The Center is located on the same floor as joint replacement rooms, so patients do not have far to go to complete therapy. “Our therapists aren’t just focused on strengthening, but getting back to things you’d do in real life. That way, when you go home and face everyday obstacles, you aren’t afraid to do them – you already know you can,” Dr. Naylor explained. When patients aren’t in the Joint Center therapy sessions, they’re tended to by nursing and staff who work just with orthopedic patients. “Dr. Naylor and Josh Hawkins, his physician assistant, were there every day to check on me. In the morning and the afternoon, they were in my room,” Pettit said. “That went a long way to develop the confidence I needed. They knew better than anybody what I was going through, and that was great encouragement.” “My stay wasn’t uncomfortable at all,” he said. “I cannot emphasize enough how much you should not be afraid. Dawn Cunningham, RN, and her staff prepare you well and you won’t be in nearly as much pain as you think. They knew what it was like to be in a hospital, and I can’t give them enough credit.” Now that he has two new hips and far less pain, Pettit is ready to get back on the greens. “I haven’t played golf in four years,” he said. “Dr. Naylor and I are going to get out there and play sometime soon.” “We don’t want anybody to have to sit out of the game,” Dr. Naylor said. “You have got to be able to sleep, be active and do what you want to do. Why would you avoid surgery and limit yourself?”