Chris Metzger

Chris Metzger

Reap the Harvest

A farmer cultivates a better life after hip surgery

A few years ago, Chris Metzger became concerned about the pain in his hip. As a farmer in Linden, he had a physically demanding job and few opportunities to rest. He knew where to get the care he needed-his wife had knee replacement surgery with Brian Batman, MD, of SUN Orthopaedics of Evangelical, and he trusted he'd find the same success. Dr. Batman worked with Metzger, offering him a conservative course of treatment that began with over-the-counter medications to reduce inflammation and pain, physical therapy, and later steroid injections, which provided some relief. "His hip was completely worn out from osteoarthritis," Dr. Batman says. Metzger realized his hip wasn't getting any better. "lt was like having a toothache all the time," Metzger says. "The harder l worked, the worse it felt."


Before the surgery, Dr. Batman and his team had Metzger participate in some pre-operative preparation. "Our joint replacement program has a handbook that helps guide patients through the process, so they know what to expect before, during, and after surgery," Dr. Batman says. "And we ask patients to go to pre-op physical therapy. The more they do with their muscles beforehand, the better and quicker their recovery post-operatively." For Metzger, Dr. Batman elected to do an anterior approach during surgery, accessing the joint from the front of the hip. 'This approach is less invasive," Dr. Batman says. 'We don't detach any muscles or tendons, and when we are done, everything moves back into place." Patients also experience less pain and have a quicker recovery. Metzger's surgery went very smoothly. He spent just one night in the hospital and, with his doctor's permission, went home the next day. "1 was on a walker for two to three days when I came home," says Metzger. "For a couple of days, I didn't do any chores, and shortly thereafter I was driving a skid loader doing snow removal."


Dr. Batman says that the post-operative work is a critical part of healing. Generally, patients are enrolled in an outpatient physical therapy program- three days a week for six weeks. Periodic follow-up visits with the surgeon happen at two weeks, six weeks, and three months, or more often if needed. "I just saw Mr. Metzger for his one-year checkup," Dr. Batman says. "He was doing very well and was back to his farm activities." For Metzger, the surgery was a resounding success. "l felt close to normal after a couple months," he says. "l wasn't jumping at the chance to get a hip replacement. l had never had surgery before this, but it was a good experience and it went a lot better than I expected."Every step of the way, I would give Evangelical Hospital a five-star recommendation. There's not one thing I could say that was a negative experience. And l really appreciated Dr. Batman-he was great."

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