With the many advances in cancer treatment, today’s cancer patients have more and more reasons for hope. Portraits of Hope are the incredible stories of our patients and their journeys of hope and survival. Click on a thumbnail and scroll down to view each story.
Charlie Bradley of Sumter, South Carolina, started experiencing pain in his hip more than a year ago. Walking, standing and daily activities grew painful for Charlie as time progressed.
“The pain in my hip significantly restricted my ability to do things I enjoyed such as ride a bicycle and walk,” said Charlie. Charlie’s physician began with a non-surgical approach by referring him to interventional pain management to lessen the severity of Charlie’s pain.
“In 2019, I received steroid injections and physical therapy in hopes of alleviating the pain in my left hip. These therapies relieved my pain for a short time, but not long term. Despite these efforts, the pain gradually worsened, and I eventually needed the assistance of a cane to walk,” Charlie recalled.
A pain management physician with McLeod Regional Medical Center referred Charlie to Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Rodney Alan at McLeod Orthopaedics Sumter. Dr. Alan also cares for patients at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence and McLeod Health Clarendon in Manning.
During Charlie’s appointment, Dr. Alan conducted a comprehensive evaluation. Due to the integrated nature of the patient’s electronic medical record at McLeod Health, Dr. Alan was able to review medications, labs, office records and all of Charlie’s previous diagnostic testing performed across the entire McLeod Health system. This enabled him to quickly diagnose Charlie with osteonecrosis of the left hip.
Osteonecrosis is a condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur (thighbone) is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, osteonecrosis can ultimately lead to the deterioration of the hip joint and severe arthritis.
“Dr. Alan recommended that I undergo a total left hip replacement,” said Charlie. “He explained why I needed the procedure as well as what I could expect during the surgery and recovery process.”
On the morning of July 28, 2020, Charlie underwent a posterior hip replacement at McLeod Health Clarendon. John Carpenter, a Physician Assistant with McLeod Orthopaedics, assisted Dr. Alan during the surgery.
Dr. Alan made an incision in the back of Charlie’s hip and moved the muscles connected to the top of the thighbone to expose the hip joint.
“Using a posterior approach allows better exposure for complex hip replacement surgeries with significant deterioration of the bone,” said Dr. Alan. “During the procedure, a portion of the femoral head, the top part of the thigh bone, is removed and replaced with an artificial hip prosthesis.
The cartilage in the hip socket, or acetabulum, is removed, and the socket is reshaped to fit the “cup,” also known as the acetabular component. Replacing both the ‘ball’ and ‘socket’ of the hip are what make a total hip replacement.”
“When I woke from surgery, I did not feel pain in my leg. The incision discomfort was nothing compared to the pain I had been living with for many months prior to surgery. Shortly after surgery, the McLeod Health Clarendon Rehabilitation team had me up and moving with minimal assistance,” said Charlie.
The McLeod Health Total Joint Replacement Program facilitates the coordination of care between McLeod Rehabilitation, Case Management and McLeod Orthopaedics Clarendon, ensuring that Charlie was prepared for discharge with medications, durable medical equipment and expectations for recovery.
“I was discharged from the hospital the same day of my surgery. When I left the hospital that evening, I could put full weight on my leg right away,” recalled Charlie. “I used a walker around the house for the first few weeks of recovery. After that, I started using my cane again while regaining my strength.
“After six weeks of physical rehabilitation, I can now walk without any assistance,” said Charlie. “I recently saw Dr. Alan for my follow-up appointment and was told I do not have to return to see him for a year. Everything looks good, and healing is going well. Dr. Alan said I should be feeling better and stronger each week. I have already noticed a difference in these first few weeks.”
Looking back on his experience, Charlie noted two things that impressed him the most. The first was the immediate relief from hip pain after surgery. Secondly, Charlie was surprised by how steadily his condition improved during his rehabilitation.
“Each day, I could tell that I was getting better,” he added. “My range of motion and ability to walk normally improved noticeably from one day to the next. I am grateful to Dr. Alan and his team for restoring my quality of life. To celebrate, I recently joined the local gym. I look forward to many pain-free days ahead.”