SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After undergoing a total hip replacement, a local woman says she’s feeling better than ever.
Lari Kooi kicked off the start of 2020 with what she calls a new lease on life. She had a total hip replacement after experiencing pain in both of her legs for years.
“I do everything that I’ve done all my life. And we just got back from a six-week vacation. We did seven states and we, we hiked in the national parks and we rode ATVs and went horseback riding. And, yeah, my life is just back, back to normal. I’m 70, but I don’t feel like it,” Kooi said.
She says the surgery went smoothly, but determining the diagnosis was a bumpy road.
That’s because of confusion with a past back injury, which she says doctors originally attributed her pain to be coming from.
“I could hardly walk. And I’m very active and we have 13 grandchildren then. It was awful. So they recommended me and I went in and he looked at me and he said, it’s not your back. It’s your hips. And I said, well, do them both now,” Kooi said.
“Usually it’s pretty straight forward in that people have pain around the hip, but sometimes there can be some confusion where there’s a crossover between symptoms that are related to the back or the hip. And in this case, in fact, there was some, long delay being treated for her back for quite some time,” Dr. Bechtold said.
Sanford Health orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dustin Bechtold used the direct superior approach, which he says is minimally invasive and typically follows with a quick recovery.
“I’ve done it this way and find it to be very reliable. Allows people to get up and discharge easily and get back to their activities,” Bechtold said.
Allowing Kooi to keep up with all of her grandchildren and stay active.
“It was absolutely amazing. I really, I didn’t ever have pain after the surgery. I just, I just didn’t,” Kooi said.
She’s sharing her story now to spread awareness that hip pain may not always originate at or near the hips.
“Don’t just assume that it’s your back or your knees go in and have your hips checked. That’s just a simple x-ray and ask for that. If I would have known, I wouldn’t have had to go through the years of pain that I did,” Kooi said.
For more information on total hip procedures at Sanford Health, click here.