Andrea’s Pre and Post Operation – Hip Replacement

We are now a family of artificial hips (my husband had his done last year). I had a friend call us “the hippies.”

So the prep for surgery included taking Coumadin and wiping the surgical areas with an antibacterial wipe three days prior to surgery to avoid any possible infection, plus no food after midnight day prior. I called the night before to get my surgery time and I was told to be there by 1:15pm, that means I will be really hungry! Who gets the early times anyway? Maybe if you are young you get the latest times.

Day of surgery: needed to leave by noon to be there by 1:15 pm. I was nervous the whole drive, but committed. We checked in and the pre-op began. First putting on those sexy gowns, socks and hat, urine test, and another20141217_152031 antibacterial wipe down. All ready to go and Dr. Rasmussen comes in to give me the low down. I like that he always goes into detail for me, since he knows I would want to knowThen the anesthesiologist arrives. The person I’ve been the most nervous about, he’s young, handsome, and looks like he knows what he is doing. Guess I need to put my life in his hands. Yikes!!

It is now around 3PM and it’s go time, seems the older patient before me took more time than expected, I’m the last surgery of the day. Time to hug my husband and my mom, then off I go down the hall. We arrive in the cold room with the metal tables and people is space suits. Looks sterile! Better be! I was told to sit on the table and in no time I remember nothing until I woke up in recovery.

I spend the next two days in the hospital with a variety of really nice nurses and drugs – some worked and 20141217_194651others didn’t. Met a great inpatient PT, who reviewed what I knew, but under the influence I simply did what I was told. I did torture the OT who came in to review how to handle the dressings, and activities at home – it’s not like I’ve never given this presentation. The labs came back, I get to go home 2 days after surgery – early release! I’ll be having a few home visits to check vitals and incisions. Since they don’t have me on Coumadin, only baby aspirin twice a day, it eliminates the additional home visits and dietary restrictions.

Quick discharge from the hospital and we are headed home. Comfortable in my renovated loft area with a TV, my medications, and my favorite dog Blue. All is good so far, rest and not too much else. Not doing anything, that’s going to be the most difficult!

Follow Andrea as she Rehabs From Hip Replacement Surgery

My name is Andrea Terwillegar and I am the managing partner of Alpine Sports Medicine, yesterday (December 17th) I had hip replacement surgery. I’m 48 years old I had been having pain in my hip for the past few years, I finally went to see Dr. Lynn Rassmussen and he diagnosed me with hip dysplasia. I was shocked and could only think about the fact that dogs are put down for hip dysplasia.

It’s hard to believe during all my athletic years I didn’t have problems and suddenly in my late 40’s I do. Dr. Rasmussen was shocked that I’ve never dislocated, chalk it up to having strong hips. I was bone on bone and had a spur developing which caused all the achy bone pain, difficulty sleeping and some days struggled to walk up stairs. As a baby my legs were not straight and I was put in a cast and had to wear corrective shoes and braces, the Dr. felt this is why I’m having problems now possibly.

It will be hard to miss the majority of the ski season, but most disappointed about retiring from my competitive coed volleyball team. I’ve played for 20 plus years, and I’m optimistic that with a new hip I can return this summer in the sand.

My goal for documenting this process is to let everyone have a better understanding of the hip replacement procedure. I am going to document my pre-op and post-op surgery along with life at home and the physical therapy of course! Guess where I’m going for physical therapy? It’s time for the staff to take care of the boss!

I was nervous for a big surgery like this, but certainly felt like I knew what to expect. My husband, Matt, had a hip replacement last year and is doing really well. I hear patients state all the time they shouldn’t have waited so long to be pain free, and this is why I am doing this. Why be in pain when you are young and can ride your mountain bike, hike with the dogs and ski our awesome mountains.

Stay Tuned!

A.S.M. Patient Spotlight – Jack Serverson

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a scary injury, and with so many sports pushing the limits of what is humanly possible, you’ll probably be hearing this term more in the future. Continue reading “A.S.M. Patient Spotlight – Jack Serverson”

Concussion? We Can Help with Your Recovery.

Concussions seem to be in the news a lot lately, especially here in Utah with the recent passing of House Bill 204.  This bill is all about education and awareness, concussions are a very real threat (especially second impact), and this bill should help educate student athletes. Continue reading “Concussion? We Can Help with Your Recovery.”

Mark Moeller: Early Summer Update on TKR Surgery Rehab

Hello everyone, It has been a quite a while since my last update. I was just discouraged with the lack of progress on my knees and therefore didn’t feel there was much positive info to share. Continue reading “Mark Moeller: Early Summer Update on TKR Surgery Rehab”

Checking in With Mark Moeller > Total Knee Replacement

Well, it has been nearly three months since my knee replacement surgeries and I wish I could report that everything is going smoothly.

I am still struggling in choppy waters!  My knees are very stiff and tight with limited range of motion. This is still causing me difficulty with walking, negotiating stairs, and even sitting in a chair.  It has been very frustrating to be working my knees very consistently, yet not make any progress in the range of motion department.  After consulting with my surgeon, I underwent a bilateral manipulation under light general anesthesia nearly 4 weeks ago.  My surgeon was able to achieve 130 degrees of knee flexion bilaterally in the Operating Room with  manipulation.   immediately after, I went right to Alpine Sports Medicine to begin my Physical Therapy regimen. I utilized a CPM machine set at 0-120 degrees at home as much in the daytime as I could and at night while trying to sleep. The best I was able to get was 130 degrees on my better knee and 120 degrees on my worse knee.  Both my knees have since stiffened up  and I am currently in the 100 degree ball park with my better knee cold and 115 degrees warmed up and stretched out.  My worse knee is about 90 degrees cold and 100 degrees warmed up and stretched out.

I am still having a significant amount of pain and discomfort associated with my knees as well. I am still utilizing pain meds 2 x daily, otherwise I can hardly move my knees are so stiff and hurt so much.  My daily routine consists of waking up at 5:45 am and stationary cycling 1 hour daily, knee Range of Motion and  stretching exercises. I also jump back on the bike in the afternoon and evening for 10-15 minutes as well. I am performing resistance exercises 3 x weekly, but I feel that I can’t proceed full speed ahead with strength exercises while I am still having so much difficulty with my knee-joint ROM.

I am still not back at work yet treating patients. My original plan was to return to work after 6 weeks. I am now almost 12 weeks out and still feel as if I am not capable of returning to work in my usual capacity. If I only had a desk job, it would be no problem at all. But with all the up and down, running around, standing, kneeling and walking required with my job as a physical therapist, I still feel that I am not ready. I am very concerned that my knees will stiffen up even more!  I am returning for a consult with my surgeon in two weeks. There just might be another manipulation in my near future.

This has definitely been the most challenging recovery I have gone through in my career of 12 knee surgeries. I know it will all work out in the long-term and I am willing to make any short-term sacrifices necessary to achieve a good long-term result. My experiences throughout my own rehabilitation are serving as a good reminder of what many of my patients have to deal with on a daily basis. It really is a good example of how everyone’s body reacts differently.  I will try my best to keep chugging forward and hope I can return back to work soon! I will update you all again following my consult with my physician!


Mark Moeller: Another Check in on Mark’s TKR Rehab

Mark Continues to work hard on the rehabilitation processes associated with Total Knee Replacement surgery.  Here is another BLOG entry from Mark….

Just a quick update on my progress > I was able to get rid of the forearm crutches exactly 2 weeks after my surgery. I was  also able to begin stretching out the doses of pain medicine at 2 weeks as well, from every 4 hours to every 8 hours. At Post op week 3, I was able to cut down the pain meds to 2 x daily. It is still difficult to get comfortable while sleeping. I usually wake up every couple of hours and try to get comfortable again. I have not been too concerned about the restless sleep because I still have not had to go back to work yet. If I need a nap during the afternoon before the kids get home from school……I can!  My staples were removed 3 weeks following surgery and the incisions are  now fully closed and I am able to soak my knees in the tub. The heavy feeling in my thighs is gradually reducing and I am achieving better quadricep control. I am now 4 weeks out of surgery and walking fairly well. The biggest problem that I am faced with is limited Range of Motion and stiffness in my knee that was replaced. I would still describe my left knee as feeling like “cement.”  I am having a very difficult time getting my knee to bend…. even just to 90 degrees! I have been working my ROM daily and have been have been stuck around 95 degrees. My world record is now 101 degrees but that is completely MAXED OUT. My quadriceps muscle feels as if it is going to rip off my quad tendon. With all my prior knee surgeries, I  have usually been on the tighter side and have always had to work hard to get my ROM (“Range of Motion” for those of us not in the business) back. However, this time is definitely the tightest and stiffest my knee has ever been! I have had to rely on assistance from Janna and Andrea to lean on me a little bit just to make any progress! I have been able to ride the stationary bicycle daily , but I still haven’t been able to get rid of a hip-hike on my left side when I get to the top of the pedal stroke. It still hurts to do it, but I suppose it is a hurt so good type of pain, I know that I need to do it. I still do not have great standing endurance yet. The longer I am on my feet, the more my knees swell, get stiff and hurt. Overall, I feel I am doing well….. just having a ROM problem at this point. I will keep you posted on my progress.


Until next time…


Tanner Hall Working to Increase Core Strength.

Tanner Hall, Building Core Strength
Tanner Hall, Building Core Strength

For those not in touch with the world of freestyle and big mountain skiing, you’ve maybe never heard the name Tanner Hall.  In the ski circles, Tanner is big time, big time like Rock Star status in the sport – the guy has multiple X-Game gold medals, been voted male skier of the year by Powder Magazine (you get the idea). Unfortunately, he suffered a very serious injury to both of his legs last spring, requiring surgery on both of his knees.

So it goes without saying, it’s pretty cool to have Tanner engaged in his Physical Therapy at Alpine Sports Medicine here in Park City, UT, and the team is excited to get him back on the hill as soon as possible.  His primary therapist is Janna Mann, but Tanner has been working with Jason Morgan (a certified strength and conditioning specialist) on his days off from PT to work on some strengthening of other areas on the his body.  This work outside of his PT on his knee is what we will be discussing in this entry.

As a freestyle skier, Tanner and other athletes are constantly beating on their bodies, working on new tricks and pushing the envelope is what this sport is all about.  The nature of freestyle over the last decade is progression in spinning (and flipping), a lot of off-axis stuff (body parallel to the ground).  “The spinning and twisting falls area big component of what we are addressing with building Tanner’s core strength,” Jason stated, ” we want to give him a stronger posture which will give him more rotational stability.”  Jason went on to explain that the rotational stability and core strength will not only help with control of his body will frantically spinning in

Keeping Tanner Seated Reduces Interference with the Physical Therapy on his Repaired Knee(s)
Keeping Tanner Seated Reduces Interference with the Physical Therapy on his Repaired Knee(s)

the air, but also when there is the dreaded ground impact his body will withstand this better – minimizing potential for injury. As you can imagine, working with the medicine ball and doing these twisting exercises would put a lot of stress on the knees, Therefore Jason is focusing on techniques and exercises that reduce or minimize any weight on the knee(s).

We will continue to update the progress of Tanners rehabilitation, so watch right here as we help get Tanner back out on the snow.  You should check Tanner out at his new website as well, current info, videos etc…. Check it here TANNER