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.
Working as a nurse for almost 30 years kept Darlington native Dannie McLellan on her feet for hours at a time. Towards the end of her career, Dannie struggled with pain in her right hip. Retired with time on her hands, Dannie’s excruciating hip pain prevented her from learning new hobbies such as pickleball. Ready for some relief, Dannie consulted Dr. Patrick Denton of McLeod Orthopaedics in Florence.
Dannie explained to Dr. Denton, “I am in agony over my right hip. The pain is unbearable and to a point where I can barely walk.”
Dr. Denton reviewed her X-rays and suggested a hip replacement. Dannie had already suspected that this would likely be the recommendation and researched the various types of hip replacement surgeries. She was especially interested in the direct anterior approach.
“I explained to Dr. Denton that I wanted to see an orthopedic surgeon who is trained to perform this procedure,” said Dannie. “A friend of mine needed a hip replacement and opted for the direct anterior approach over the more common posterior approach. She recovered quickly, and the pain disappeared almost immediately.”
During the less-invasive direct anterior approach, the surgeon positions a patient on their back and makes a small incision at the front of the hip, working between the muscles with minimal to no cutting to insert a new hip joint. This procedure offers eligible patients less muscle damage, reduced post-operative pain, decreased risk of hip dislocation, a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery.
Dr. Denton referred Dannie to his partner Dr. Christopher Walsh of McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast in Little River. At the time, Dr. Walsh was the only orthopedic surgeon in the McLeod Health system who specialized in the direct anterior approach. Dannie, along with her daughter and granddaughter, drove to the beach to meet Dr. Walsh.
“I put him through the ringer, asking every question that came to mind,” said Dannie. “Working as a nurse my whole life, I often saw doctors I knew. I wanted to ‘interview’ Dr. Walsh first to learn more about his background and specialties, and luckily our personalities clicked right away.”
Dr. Walsh reviewed Dannie’s X-rays and determined that she was a candidate for the direct anterior hip replacement procedure.
“Dannie’s imaging results showed severe osteoarthritis in her right hip causing the joint cartilage to deteriorate,” said Dr. Walsh. “She lost all range of motion, and her thigh bone rubbed against the hip socket causing terrible pain and discomfort.”
Before her surgery, Dannie attended the Total Joint Program at McLeod Health Seacoast, a class designed specifically for joint replacement patients.
The Total Joint Program educates patients on what to expect during surgery and their stay at McLeod Health, as well as rehabilitation and recovery. Each patient has a team of physicians, rehabilitation specialists and other health care professionals who work together to provide a complete continuum of care.
“On the day of my Total Joint class, I was greeted at the main entrance of McLeod Health Seacoast and escorted by hospital volunteers,” said Dannie. “I was unfamiliar with the hospital, but everyone I met went above and beyond to help make my visit easy and convenient.” A few weeks later in March 2019, Dannie underwent direct anterior hip surgery at McLeod Health Seacoast. She spent one night in the hospital.
“I received excellent care after my surgery,” said Dannie. “From the nurses to the rehabilitation team, I could not have asked for better treatment.”
Dannie returned home to Darlington the next day and continued rehabilitation with McLeod Home Health. During her two-week follow up with Dr. Walsh, Dannie showed off her progress by picking up her walker and walking across the room.
“Dannie was an excellent candidate for direct anterior hip replacement,” said Dr. Walsh. “After surgery, Dannie could immediately bear weight on her hip which enabled normal range of motion and function, and a faster resumption to daily life.”
With her new hip in place, Dannie stays active and enjoys activities that previously caused her pain.
“I am finally learning the sport of pickleball and playing multiple times a week at the local Country Club,” said Dannie. “I cannot thank Dr. Walsh, his amazing team and the health care workers at McLeod Health Seacoast enough for the outstanding care I received.”