Rapid Recovery

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Knee replacement surgery is allowing Angela to “enjoy life again.”

Three decades ago, when the distributor of self-defense kits she worked for unexpectedly closed, Angela Kanner found herself at a career crossroad. Today, Angela is still riding the path she chose.

“I came home crying the day they padlocked the doors where I was working because I’d never seen anything like that before,” Angela remembers. “I went home and told my husband, I want to open my own business doing the same thing.

“He was, like, Definitely not. So, we fought over that for six months, but 30 years later, we’re still running a very successful business distributing personal defense items such as pepper spray, stun guns and telescopic steel batons.”

When not running her business, Angela could often be found at the gym. At age 70, she still considered herself “a gym rat.” There was a time not long ago, when aggravating right hip pain forced her to abandon her workouts.

“I’m not a bodybuilder,” Angela insists. “I just love working out at the gym. It used to be that two hours, five days a week was my minimum, I would also do things like kickboxing and Jazzercise.”

About five years ago, the hip pain became so intense that she had to slow down.

“I wound up doing things like chair yoga. I thought, What am I doing here? I’m not a chair yoga person,” she bemoans. “I felt like I was wasting my time.”

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Angela’s hip pain eventually crept into other areas of her life. When it grew so intense that it caused a noticeable limp, she found it hard to perform a lot of her daily activities. The pain even affected her relationship with her grandchildren.

“I used to go upstairs to socialize with them and visit with them one on one in their rooms,” Angela relates. “But my hip got so bad that I had to say to them, Don’t ask me to come up to your room anymore because I can’t make it up the stairs.

“That wasn’t like me at all because I’ve always been so active and energetic. Then my granddaughter said to me, I want my grandma back. This isn’t my grandma. That’s when I decided I had to do something about this.”

Sound Advice

Up to that point, Angela had refused to see a doctor or take any medication stronger than acetaminophen. When she finally resolved to correct the issue, her son suggested she visit Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America.

“He looked at me one day and said, Mom, you’ve got no quality of life,” Angela remembers. “Then he said, I’ve been doing some research and I found this place. I want you to make an appointment and see what they have to say.

“I called and made the appointment. From talking to them on the phone, I knew I had made the right decision. There was something about the way they assured me they could take care of this that told me I was doing the right thing.”

Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America is the practice of Philip E. Clifford, MD, AAHKS, AAOS. He specializes in a surgical protocol for the replacement of hips and knees that eliminates the need for long, postoperative hospital stays.

“One of the factors that’s most unique about our protocol is the medicines we use,” Dr. Clifford explains. “One of those medicines is called Exparel®. It’s a long-lasting, non-opioid, local anesthetic that can last for two to three days.

“Another feature that’s unique about our protocol is the surgical technique we use. With our hip surgery, for example, we use a technique where we are not assaulting the muscle and detach only one tendon from the hip, which is then repaired anatomically. This technique results in less trauma to the hip and less blood loss. There’s also less chance the length of the leg will be changed.”

“I’m enjoying being with my grandkids again, and I feel perfect. I feel like I’m 30 years younger.” – Angela

Dr. Clifford also points out there are no limitations after surgery. Patients can return to activities almost immediately.

“In fact, we encouraged them to do just that,” he says.

Hip procedures are performed through an incision only three to four inches long. A small incision is what allows for the preservation of muscle attachments, which is why patients are back on the move hours after surgery.

“Another important aspect of what we do is spend an incredible amount of time educating each patient before surgery,”

Dr. Clifford notes. “We spend 45 minutes to an hour getting them ready for surgery and preparing them for what to expect and do afterward.

“Not only that, but when our patients go home after surgery, they know that between 4 and 7 o’clock that night, we’ll be calling to check on them. It’s not them calling us; it’s us calling them. That level of patient care does not exist in many places these days.”

“Enjoying Life Again”

Angela’s pain was not exclusive to her hip. She also experienced severe pain in both knees, a result of advanced arthritis. To alleviate that pain, Dr. Clifford administered amniotic fluid injections during an in-office visit.

Angela Kanner

Angela then had hip surgery in September 2020. As is typical with Dr. Clifford’s patients, she went in for surgery at 8 a.m. By 5 o’clock that afternoon, she was home recuperating in her bed. The next day, she was already beginning rehabilitation.

“When I started rehabbing I actually felt sorry for some of the people I was rehabbing with because they had been there for weeks and were still in pain, and I didn’t even look like I’d had surgery,” Angela reports. “They were asking me, Why are you even here?

Since then, Angela’s knee and hip pain have disappeared, and she has slowly resumed her active lifestyle. She’s not visiting the gym five days a week, but she’s swimming almost every day and walking for more than an hour three days a week.

“I’m enjoying my life again,” Angela shares. “People say I have a glow about me again. I believe that because I was very sad before. My pain was keeping me from living the life I wanted to live, but now, I’m enjoying being with my grandkids again, and I feel perfect. I feel like I’m 30 years younger.

“I’m doing all that because I no longer have any hip pain, and that’s all thanks to Dr. Clifford, who I think the world of. I was totally against having surgery, but he explained everything to me in detail and helped me understand why I needed to have surgery.

“And through it all, he treated me like I was his mom and he was my son. He’s so pleasant, so nice. There’s no one else like him, and everyone on his staff is just so nice. I’d recommend them to anybody.”

© FHCN article Roy Cummings. Main photo courtesy of Angela Kanner. Inset photo by Jordan Pysz. js
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