Is surgery something to consider?

Health Watch

The thought of surgery can be very frightening. In fact, most people do almost anything to avoid surgery. They don’t want to deal with the doctor appointments, the bills, time off work, rehab, etc. Let’s not forget about the most common fear: what happens if things don’t get better?

For many people, avoiding surgery may do more harm than good. For instance: if you can’t live comfortably because of an injury, if you’re experiencing limited range of motion in an arm or leg, or if you have a sore that won’t go away. Ask your doctor if surgery should be considered.

Several years ago I was too frightened to ask my doctor about surgery, but I was hurting. I didn’t want to get worse, yet I was terrified of surgery and everything that came along with it.

My story begins in 2001 when I dislocated my left hip. At first, I didn’t think it was a big deal, but in 2008 I noticed a significant decrease in my leg’s range of motion. It hurt just to walk up a flight of stairs. I continued living with the pain until my wife and I

had our first baby. I wanted to enjoy every

moment with my family. So, I went to see a doctor. From there, my doctor referred me to an orthopedic specialist. A few consultations later, I was scheduled to have my hip replaced. I was still apprehensive, but I didn’t want to spend the first years with my child distracted by pain.

My hip replacement surgery happened in 2011. I couldn’t be happier with the results. I no longer live with joint pain or stiffness. I don’t even think about walking up or downs stairs

anymore. Best of all, I can get down on the floor and play with my kids.

So, if you’ve ever found your body hurting, if you experience lost range of motion and would like to get it back, or you have a sore you know should be looked at, please take my advice. See a doctor, ask questions, and be open to what surgery can do for you. Today, I am so much happier because I had surgery.

Will Schuett is a marketing specialist for UP Health System — Portage hospital.