Christine Bartholomew was out running one day when she noticed she had a problem. She was trying to lose some weight after having her youngest child, a boy named Alex. It had been over 8 years since the birth and she hadn't lost weight. "So I started running, very high impact aerobic activity. And I developed a little pain in my right hip. So, I thought, well, I have to back off."
Backing off didn't work. Neither did taking drugs like Ibuprofen. Christine is a nurse and is on her feet for up to 12 hours a day. She went to a doctor, had an X-ray and was diagnosed with arthritis. At the time she was just 38 years old.
She upped the intensity and strength of her drugs. But that still wasn't cutting through the pain. When the patients started feeling sorry for her, Christine knew it was time to do something. Her doctor's assistant gave her a CD about the Stryker Ceramic technology that alleviated many of her concerns.
"We took the CD home and I looked up some information on the website and went back and said yep, that's what I want. You know and after reading about it I was even, you know, more willing to have the surgery." Her Doctor, Dr. Cimpl also suggested that she watch and observe an actual procedure as it was happening. "It was really interesting. I even got a chance to go around the table and talk to a couple of the reps that were there and look at the equipment."
The day of her surgery Christine was excited. She was also looking forward to what she hoped would be a life with less pain. "I think my adrenaline was going so much and I was just so excited and after, you know, I got there and got ready for surgery I was just, I was relieved. It was once I got in the hospital and was getting prepped I was just relieved."
But her best memory was immediately after the surgery. "It was wonderful waking up." Her loving husband Tim was waiting for her and her pain was gone. Tim noticed a physical change. A wrinkle of worry that had creased her face was gone for good. "And that wrinkle was gone. She said there was pain from the incision but the hip pain was gone."
She was so grateful she sent an e-mail to Stryker and when she found a rep at the hospital she went out of her way to say thank you. "I sent an email to Stryker to let them know how my surgery turned out. And I even ran into a couple of reps at the hospital and when I saw one I just was in tears I was so happy that I could finally meet one and thank them."
Christine explains that she was extremely happy to have found the technology that makes it possible to have her life back. "I do put a lot of strain on this hip. I am down under cots at work, climbing, sitting and I… I was just grateful that they have the technology so I can do that. In my job, I stress it a lot and so I know that the biggest thing about the hip that I have, the ceramic, is longevity."
Christine has these final words of advice for others. "If your doctor thinks you need to have the surgery then you need to have surgery. Do what he says and have confidence, you know, in your doctor and you'll feel so much better."
Each patient will experience a different post-operative activity level, depending on their own individual clinical factors. Your doctor will help counsel you about how to best maintain your activities in order to potentially prolong the lifetime of the device. Such strategies include not engaging in high-impact activities, such as running, as well as maintaining a healthy weight.