Jay’s story: 'Life is good' after hip replacement

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

By: Femi Cole


A total hip replacement wasn’t part of Jay Fessler’s construction plan when he started remodeling his new house.


The pain forced him to halt the remodel project and schedule an appointment with Dr. Craig L. Olson, a surgeon with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic in Manitowoc.


“I was in anguish day, after day, after day, trying to go up the steps, do the reconstruction of this house. The pain was just unbelievable,” says Jay, who is in his mid-60s.


Olson recommended an anterior hip replacement, where the surgeon reaches the hip joint from the front of the hip instead of the back, resulting in less pain.


Hip replacement surgery replaces the worn ends of the bones in the hip joints with prosthetic parts made of metal, plastic or ceramics. Doing so relieves pain and restores function in patients whose joints have been compromised by disease or trauma.


An increasingly popular procedure for doing this, anterior hip replacement surgery, does so by creating a small, less invasive incision at the front of the hip.


“Frontal entry enables an orthopedic surgeon to access the hip joint by separating rather than cutting and then reattaching muscles,” Olson said. Traditional hip replacement procedures enter the body through an incision close to the buttocks or through the side of the hip often slicing through muscle.


“Entering the hip through the front or anterior area results in less trauma to the soft issues around the hip, fostering a speedier recovery,” Olson said. “It’s a more challenging surgery but it’s been extremely beneficial to our patients. They are getting back to their daily activities in about two or three weeks – less recovery time than required via traditional hip replacement procedures – and with fewer complications.”


Jay was hesitant about surgery. “It’s way too early in my life to worry about having a hip replaced.”


His fears disappeared after realizing how simple and quick the procedure was.


He underwent surgery, had a one-day stay in the hospital and was back home preparing for rehab.


He went from living with unbearable pain to feeling “absolutely no pain.”


“Not once the entire time did I have to take pain pills,” he says.


Jay says Olson “gave me a quality of life back. I had none technically before that.”


He’s back to walking, cycling, and of course, remodeling his house.


Almost a year after surgery, Jay says, “life is good.”


Dr. Craig L. Olson sees patients in Manitowoc and Chilton. For appointments, call 920-682-6376 in Manitowoc or 920-849-3800 in Chilton or request an appointment online.


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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.