Retiree Bounces Back after Four Joint Replacements at Mercy

FORT SMITH, Ark., Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — After four joint replacements in seven months, Wanda Fugett is living her life…

FORT SMITH, Ark., Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — After four joint replacements in seven months, Wanda Fugett is living her life again.

A hiking trip with her husband was the first time Fugett knew something was wrong. The couple was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in 2018 when Wanda’s left hip began hurting. When they returned home to Hackett, Arkansas, she continued to have pain. For her video story, click here.

After the initial consultation, Mercy’s Dr. Jody Bradshaw knew surgery was likely; however, Fugett had signed a contract to serve as a school nurse and wanted to fulfill the commitment.

«Her goal was to be able to finish out her job, so we started off treating her conservatively with medications, injections, therapy, exercises,» Dr. Bradshaw said.

Fugett had X-rays on both hips and both knees in May 2019, when Dr. Bradshaw said her left hip joint was «practically gone.» She was told it could take two years to have all four joints replaced.

«She had both of her hips and both of her knees that were very diseased and needed to be replaced, and she wanted to take care of all four of them as quickly as she could,» Dr. Bradshaw said.

Instead of two years, doctors performed all four surgeries within seven months.

«One of the things that helped Wanda is that she was still very active,» Dr. Bradshaw said. «She was strong and physically fit, and I think that helped her come through her surgeries a lot quicker.»

Fugett began follow-up therapy sessions almost immediately. Therapy isn’t limited to just exercises patients do at the clinic. They are given a series of at-home exercises they are expected to do on their own as part of the rehabilitation process.

«Wanda was super motivated in therapy,» Dr. Bradshaw said. «She worked hard after all of her surgeries, doing all the exercises and therapy that we asked her to do. She always did what was asked, plus more.»

While Fugett’s experience is unusual in that she had four joints replaced in less than a year, Dr. Bradshaw said the timetable was fitting for a patient like Fugett.

«I’ve been very pleased with every procedure I’ve had at Mercy Orthopedic Hospital. It’s a wonderful place,» Fugett said.


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