No More Limitations After Robotic-Arm Assisted Hip Replacement

Video Transcript

I'm Bud Eggers. I live outside of Volga. I enjoy making things, usually mechanical type things like little four-wheel-drive tractors or mounting a snowblower on a combine. I also enjoy working with horses.

Why did you seek treatment for your hip pain?

About a year ago, I started experiencing some hip pain. At first, it was bursitis and I got treated for that, but it continued to get progressively worse. I finally went to my primary doctor and he said that I probably would need some kind of hip replacement surgery. He recommended the Brookings Health System here, and he recommended Dr. Mayer.

How long did you suffer with pain before seeking treatment?

It started about a year ago, and then about six months ago, it kept getting increasingly more intense. It got to the point to where I hardly had a comfortable moment or a comfortable position. It just plain hurt a lot. And that's when, as it increased, of course, Dr. Mayer says, "It will get nothing but progressively worse." And he explained to me what they would be doing. A lot of it would be involved...a lot of the involvement would be with the Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery machine. He explained how that was programmed and what it would be doing in place of the human hand.

How did the procedure work?

The way I understood it was the robotic arm itself, once it's programmed for that particular type of surgery, it takes over some of the physical human part of it, simply because it's more precise and a very dedicated machine and that it will do the job much better, much less human interference as far as errors are concerned. And that impressed me.

What was your impression of Dr. Mayer?

Dr. Mayer was very personable. He was very thorough. He explained the procedure to me and just continued to reassure me that everything was going to be alright, you know, because I was in considerable pain at the time. And I just felt the more I visited with him, the more comfortable I got.

How did the staff care for you?

The staff was very professional, very thorough. Their biggest concern was my comfort because that hip was a very miserable thing to have. And from then on, it was just a matter of moving me into position and getting me into the surgery room. And I don't remember any of that, of course, but I just remember how professional the whole staff was. It impressed me. Of course, each one of them had their own particular task to perform, but they introduced themselves. They told me what they would be doing and what I needed to do or not do.

How was your stay in the hospital?

The experience was great in that I felt no pain. I mean, I actually slept all night without being, you know, disturbed or woke up from the pain. I think that was the best part. I really slept hard, you know? They had to wake me up. But after the surgery, once they wheeled me into the room, I mean, they made me use a walker, which was fine. But even at that, it was just such a relief. I couldn't feel any of that pain. Now, granted I was probably on some kind of a deadener to start with, but even after all of that wore off, it was just so nice to be able to stand and without hurting.

How is your recovery?

The recovery has gone really well. For the first two weeks, they had me use a walker. And then at the end of those two weeks, I was back to see Dr. Mayer again, and he explained what they did, how they did it and, you know, what were my concerns? I really didn't have any concerns. I was feeling so much relief from the surgery itself. But once I got to using the cane, I was told I had to keep using that cane until I got rid of my limp. I got to where I was limping so bad with the pain that I was experiencing that, you know, pretty soon it just became kind of part of my system. But it was nice. I could walk and I didn't feel any soreness or any of that. The limp I think is gone. I mean, I don't recognize it. Once in a while, my wife will say, 'You know, you're limping," or, "You're leaning a little bit more than you should be." I did have physical therapy afterwards, which was, you know, important. But even that professional said the same thing. "You still limp a little bit. You need to do this or do that."

How has surgery changed your day-to-day life?

The pain medication I was taking before was mostly Tylenol or some, you know, over-the-counter type drug and afterwards, none of that. That was definitely a big thing. It changed it for me having to gauge everything that I would like to do for that day to it didn't matter what I did because I always had to deal with this pain. You know, how long could I stand or could I sit down with what I was doing? That kind of pain just gauged everything that I did. But afterwards, there wasn't any of that to deal with. It was just very, very relieving.

What did you appreciate most?

I would have to say the professionalism. They were very concerned about my comfort, about how I was feeling, you know, they answered all of my questions. I'd recommend it to anybody who's experiencing the kind of pain that I experienced.

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