Bayhealth hip replacement patient on the beach with her dog

Feeling the Sand Between Her Toes All Thanks to a New Hip

Orthopaedics

Lewes resident Lee Ann Seymour describes herself as an especially active person. This retired veterinary tech loved going to the gym, dancing in Zumba class, biking, walking her dog on the beach, and volunteering as an equestrian – until COVID struck and hip pain in her right leg began to set in. As she describes it – walking on the beach with a bad hip is painful.

When she started to be aware of some pain, she consulted her primary care physician. He suggested an X-ray which showed no injury but “a fair amount of arthritis.” He recommended she talk with Bayhealth Orthopaedic Surgeon Trinity Pilkington, MD, who uses the anterior approach to hip replacement surgery.

Bayhealth hip replacement patient walking on the beach

The anterior approach to hip replacement is a muscle-sparing procedure. Using a special table, Dr. Pilkington can access the hip joint from the front of the hip as opposed to the back, as most surgeons do. He uses a natural division between muscles so there is no need to cut, split, or detach muscles. Most patients are walking just hours after their surgery without the typical limp associated with traditional approaches.

Seymour, 64, said that Dr. Pilkington didn’t rush her into surgery. In fact, he wanted to try every alternative, including Cortisone shots. When the relief wore off, Dr. Pilkington determined it was a safe and appropriate time for surgery.

Her surgery was schedule for February 17 – a time when most were avoiding hospitals and doctors’ offices. Seymour says she felt safe every step of the way thanks to her care team.

Surgery was scheduled for 8 a.m. and by 9:20 a.m. her husband received a call to let him know all went as planned. By 3:20 p.m. that afternoon, Seymour was safely sent home to recover.

As a regional healthcare leader, Bayhealth offers anterior hip replacement, total knee replacement and partial knee replacement surgery on an outpatient basis at both Kent and Sussex campuses. This means Seymour was able to return home the evening of her surgery and recuperate in the comfort of her own home.

The safety of patients is always top of mind at Bayhealth. Even when Seymour was at home, her care team connected with her through phone calls and telehealth to make sure she was comfortable, her pain was well managed, and she was getting the therapy she needed.

Dr. Pilkington says that Seymour’s positive experience is more the norm than the exception.

“Fortunately, Ms. Seymour's surgical outcome is not uncommon for most patients undergoing the muscle-sparing anterior hip replacement,” said Dr. Pilkington. “The key to successful, same-day discharge requires excellent surgical technique and patient motivation to work with the nurses and physical therapists. Some patients may feel apprehensive about going home a few hours after surgery, but once they are able to mobilize safely, patients gain the confidence and reassurance for home discharge.”

“My goal was to get back to working out and to walking on the beach. Walking on the sand with arthritis is really hard.” Two weeks following her anterior hip replacement surgery, Seymour was walking outside in her neighborhood and now she’s enjoying strolls on the beach again.

“I’m so glad I was steered in the direction of Dr. Pilkington. I give everyone there lots of kudos. Everyone was spot on. It couldn’t have been any better.”

Visit Bayhealth.org/Orthopaedics to learn more. To find an orthopaedic surgeon to meet your needs, call 1-866-BAY-DOCS to learn more about providers in your area.