Mobility and freedom wanted

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

Glenna Ross-Cooper can’t wait to regain her mobility and “freedom” – understandable, given that she has been physically active virtually all of her 57 years. Glenna suffered a hip fracture in March 2006 as a result of a fall while skiing. “I’ve been skiing for years and was hardly moving at all. It must have been the way I fell and the fact that I hit my hip,” says Glenna. “I still can’t believe that my life’s journey has taken such a turn, but I’m on my road to recovery!”

Glenna, from North Bay, was skiing at a resort in the Barrie area when she fractured her hip. Dr. Alberto Casses was the orthopaedic surgeon on call at Barrie’s Royal Victoria Hospital when she arrived. Since Glenna’s socket was in good shape, Dr. Casses performed a partial hip replacement, replacing the femoral head with a bipolar head and a femoral stem.

The road to recovery has been a mental challenge for Glenna and the most difficult. Because her hip replacement was due to a fracture, she was unable to bear weight for the first six weeks so that the bone could knit around the stem of the femoral component, which was not cemented. After spending six days in hospital, Glenna was scared to go home – she worried about the hip dislocating and about getting in and out of the car and her home. Because it was difficult to get around, she stayed home for four weeks.

While at home, she spent a great deal of time on the Internet and found the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation. She was looking for someone to talk to about what she had gone through and to hear some of the “good news” related to joint replacements. “The information on the web site is very informative. It gives me insight as to what I might expect as far as discomfort and pain as the socket deteriorates,” says Glenna. Glenna still has her natural hip socket. Dr. Casses informed her that she will likely be looking at surgery within seven to 12 years to have that replaced as the prosthesis wears out the socket. “I guess that will put me in the same position as all those who are currently wait listed,” said Glenna.

Glenna got the go-ahead to bear weight on her injured leg in mid-May. “With much trepidation and fear, I start to set the foot down and hopefully be on my way to walking unassisted,” says Glenna. The next six weeks for Glenna will be similar to those who have had a hip replacement. She’s now started physiotherapy, and the road to mobility and freedom.

As well as gaining insight into what she has gone through via the Foundation’s website, Glenna became a client in the Foundation’s Ortho Connect peer support program. Through Ortho Connect she can talk to someone who has already had a hip replacement and hear the “good news” related to joint replacements. Glenna’s volunteer had a full hip replacement and is still a ski instructor.