Farmer Benefits from Robotic-Arm Assisted Hip Replacement

Video Transcript

I'm Mike Olson from White, South Dakota, 15 miles north of town, north of Brookings. And I farm, and trim and shoe horses, and side hobby and stuff, working on horse buggies and the horse equipment.

How did your arthritis pain limit you?

Last fall, in November, I was working on a horse, and when I got done with that horse, I could barely walk five feet. So, we took some x-rays of my hip, showed bone on bone and some arthritis and stuff, bone spurs.

What was your impression of Dr. Holmoe?

He's down to earth. Actually, in visiting with him that first time, he's a local doctor, growing up in the Flandreau area, so he knew what things were like around here. With me being in agriculture, he could relate to some of those things, and he knew that I wasn't going to be just sitting around doing nothing, that I was going to be out to being active and stuff. His first comments were that, "I'll spend as much time as I need to with you in seeing what your issues are," and stuff. He said, "First, we'll try an injection." So, that following Friday, he injected my hip and that lasted for about three weeks without any pain and stuff. So, we knew it was in my hip then. So, after three weeks' time, went back to visit with Dr. Holmoe, and he gave me my options.

How would you describe Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery?

But what he was telling me, we'd go in and he would do the surgery, open things up, have the robot come in or take out my hip the way it was, and the robot would go in and clean out the area for the socket in my pelvic area. Then he would go in and remount the bone for the arm and things, and pop things back together. And I would be in good shape after that in a matter of just a little time. And afterwards, Dr. Holmoe said it went perfect as far as setting that socket in. He only used one screw to hold the socket in as compared to the possibility of three screws. So, the robot did its job. After surgery, there was no pain whatsoever, which was a positive.

How was your hospital stay?

I was in there from Tuesday to Friday, three days, three and a half days. Very comfortable. You're in your room by yourself and the nurses would knock before they'd come in, but they took very good care of me. If I needed something, push the button, they were there shortly and stuff, whether it was something to drink, or if I needed to get up to go to the restroom.

What therapy milestones did you reach before leaving the hospital?

The basic one was to be able to walk around with the walker. One of the other things, before they'd let me go, is to be able to climb up stairs with the walker and things, which, we already did those on Thursday morning of that week,  two days, basically, after surgery. And that was no problem getting up and down. They didn't push me to do anything that I couldn't do, such as the first time getting up, walking with the walker and stuff, or going to the restroom and stuff. They were right there to help me in that respect. If I wanted to go somewhere around the couple little circle, you might say, if I wanted to do the full one, that was fine. If I wanted to just go up the hallway and back, that was fine too.

How was your recovery and return to farming?

It's been going very good. The first two weeks, I was using the walker. After that, I was using the cane for a little over a week. And after that three weeks time frame, I was basically walking on my own without any assistance. My wife told them that we got a plan. We were going to go out and bail hay that day, that I was going to run the bailer and the tractor, but she was going to run the clutch because it was my left leg that was operated on, so I couldn't push anything down pressure wise. So, she was going to run the clutch and we bailed hay that day.

What improvements have you noticed following surgery?

Basically, the pain was gone that I had. Before the surgery, when I was doing planting of the crops and stuff, getting out of the tractor, the first dozen steps or so, you just didn't want to hardly step on that leg because it hurt so bad. After that, after you got things moving, it wasn't so bad, but after the surgery, getting out of the tractor, there was no pain. The only discomfort that you might say I had afterwards was the healing pain, the soreness, the muscles and stuff being spread apart. And I've still got some of that yet today, but visiting with people that have had surgeries prior to, similar surgeries, say it's probably a six-month recovery, and we're only looking at a little over three months right now. So, I've got some time, but we're out moving around and keeping things active.

What are your activity and agriculture goals?

I'm 68 now. I've been trimming and shoeing horses just about 47 years now, and I'm hoping to make 50 years. Time will tell, but to keep it up in some sort for another three years. And then, hopefully, at that time I can say I can retire, but a farmer never retires.

Why do you recommend Brookings Health System for joint surgery?

I have already recommended Dr. Holmoe to several other people who needed to get another opinion and stuff. I mentioned it to other people, even away from Brookings, but the basic one is closeness to home, not necessarily having to go to Sioux Falls to have the same procedures done. And secondly, family wise, being closer to your wife and two of my sons who are fairly close here too. So, family wise too.

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