Lissa’s story: Hip replacement was ‘A-plus’

Monday, September 24, 2018

By: Femi Cole


Lissa Marth is no stranger to research.


As a fitness instructor, she often familiarizes herself with the latest approaches to fitness and health. As a college instructor, she routinely researches the latest in organizational leadership administration. As a business consultant, she researches for clients the skills necessary for effective communication, leadership and performance management.


So, it’s no wonder that when her hip trouble intensified, Lissa did what she does best – she researched the matter. She sought the best approach to treating her hip pain and the best qualified medical expert to help.


An initial consult with an area doctor revealed arthritis as the cause of Lissa’s hip pain. She also had bursitis, an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac that helps the muscle move smoothly over a bone. She was told she’d need hip replacement surgery.


Over the next eight months, Lissa contemplated her next course of action. Eventually, her hip pain forced her hand.


“I let it go on a little too long, which I’m sure many do,” Lissa says. “Then my journey began of trying to figure out what I was going to do about it.”


That involved researching surgeons, hip surgery options, recovery time, long-term outcomes and more.


“My husband and I embarked on a tremendous amount of research and we looked into numerous options, everything from stem cell therapy to hip resurfacing to a full hip replacement,” Lissa says. “We read, we read, we read.”


A procedure called anterior hip replacement drew her interest. During this procedure, the surgeon replaces the hip joint by entering the front of the thigh instead of the back. The front approach allows the surgeon to bypass tendons and muscle tissues rather than cut into them.


“Statistics will show you that a posterior or a lateral entry is going to be just as effective for long-term outcome as an anterior entry,” Lissa says, citing her research. “The recovery time for going in through the front is less than half of the recovery time of these other procedures.”


Having found a solution, Lissa needed to find someone she could trust to perform the procedure. Her research led her to Dr. Michael Schnaubelt, an orthopedic surgeon with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic.


“He put me at ease immediately – amiable, nice, funny, fabulous bedside manner, tremendous active listening, and then when I hit him with my 24,000 questions, without skipping a beat … he answered them all to my satisfaction.”


Schnaubelt successfully performed Lissa’s anterior hip replacement procedure. Her experience was “outstanding,” she says.


“This was a team of care providers unlike I’ve ever experienced before,” she says. “I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 in the morning, had everything assessed, questions answered, pre-op taken care of, brought into the OR at 7:30, cut at 8:06, discharged at 2:37 p.m.”


Within six weeks of having her hip replaced, Lissa was back to living an active and pain-free life.


“I have zero restrictions, zero hold-backs,” she says. “The quality of my life has skyrocketed.”


She’s grateful for Schnaubelt and his team.


“Thumbs up to Dr. Schnaubelt, his physician assistant, his nurse … the entire team … A-plus.”


Dr. Michael Schnaubelt sees patients in Green Bay and Shawano. To request an appointment, call 920-288-5555 in Green Bay or 877-844-8796 in Shawano or do so 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.