“I Didn’t Want To Just Get Back On My Feet…I Wanted To Get Back To My Life”. Physical fitness has always been a major part of Holly Hansen’s life. A resident of Billings, Montana, she spent a lot of time on the ski slopes and from the time she was in her twenties, she began working as an instructor for virtually every exercise class imaginable – aerobics, spinning, kickboxing, weightlifting and yoga, to name a few.
But while Holly was busy improving the physical capabilities of others through her fitness classes, her own physical health was deteriorating. “My hip had begun hurting me long before I actually paid much attention to it,” Holly admits. “After ten years of increasing pain, it really began affecting my performance while exercising and it finally got to the point where I could no longer ignore it.”
Holly went to a doctor in Montana for an x-ray, and the results were not what she had expected. She was told she suffered from osteoarthritis, sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease. “I just about fainted when the doctor told me what it was,” she laughed. “I guess all of those years of exercising and pounding on my joints caught up with me.”
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints deteriorates over time. The smooth surface of the cartilage becomes rough, causing irritation.
A few days later, Holly called a friend of hers who lives in Scottsdale, and he happened to be riding horses at the time with someone who had recently had his hip replaced at Scottsdale Healthcare by orthopedic surgeon Stuart Kozinn, MD. He raved about Dr. Kozinn so much that Holly decided to fly to Scottsdale to meet him and discuss her options.
“He spent over two hours discussing the procedure with me,” says Holly. “I was so impressed with his thoroughness and the personalization of care he provided, I decided there was no doctor other than Dr. Kozinn I wanted to replace my hip.”
Holly had her hip replacement surgery performed with a traditional, posterior approach in December of 2005. She was so pleased with the care she received from Dr. Kozinn and Scottsdale Healthcare that when the pain in her second hip began intensifying a few years later, she came back in November of 2009 to have that one replaced as well. This time, Dr. Kozinn performed the surgery using an anterior approach, and Holly walked out of the hospital two days after her surgery with the help of only a crutch.
She is now back to enjoying all of the physical activities she did before her surgeries, only now without the pain. She recently conquered the most advanced, extreme ski trail in Montana’s infamous Bigsky Ski Resort and at an altitude of 11,000 feet, Holly said she had never felt better making her way down that slope. “I had a friend record me on a video camera skiing down that trail, and I’m going to send it to Dr. Kozinn as proof that he is changing people’s lives for the better!”
“As a younger patient, I wasn’t concerned with just being able to get on my feet again after my surgery,” says Holly. “I wanted to make sure I was going to get back to my life, bigger and better than before the surgery! And thanks to Dr. Kozinn and the wonderful staff at Scottsdale Healthcare, I am doing just that.”
I have noticed that my patients are getting better and better results from their knee replacements. I have been doing total knees in private practice for 26 years, so I have a good experience to look back on. i will give some credit to the rotating platform total knee, which I think has many advantages over fixed bearing knees. Besides being able to rotate more from side to side, I believe it has a “self-centering” function that helps balance the knee, particularly when the implants rotate going from full extension to full flexion. I see much less evidence of instability and excellent range of motion. The recovery also seems to be faster to me. The good news is, Total Knee Replacement is getting better – you should have yours done by a qualified joint replacement expert- one that does over 100 total knees a year, and has done a joint replacement fellowship.