OrthoEdge: Don’t put off having joint replacement surgery

Kevin Goraczkowski of Grenada, MN knows what hard work is and doesn’t let much slow him down.  Including the pain in his hip joint he started experiencing in 2010.

“I don’t think it affected work,” he said.

Kevin worked for the Martin County Highway Department for 34 and a half years and is now semi-retired, working part time for a couple of local farmers.  Linda, Kevin’s wife, saw that time a little differently.  “It was painful,” she said. “He was taking aspirin or Tylenol at least every day.”

Pushing through what Kevin called a gradual progression of pain, he continued with everyday life, working, cutting wood, and even building a pole shed.  A few times he said, it felt like his leg would give out.

“I’m sure it was slowing down everything,” he said.  “A lot of times I needed more help than I should have because I couldn’t do it by myself.”  In the evenings, Linda added, he would just sit with his legs up because his hip was bothering him so much.

As the pain began to get worse, Kevin visited his doctor and had X-rays done. The hip joint was bone-on-bone.  Kevin opted for a cortisone injection.  He said it didn’t last long. Kevin waited a while and had a second injection.

“After that, I realized it wasn’t working,” he recalled. Kevin’s doctor referred him to Dr. John Springer at The Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic in Mankato.  Hearing he needed hip replacement surgery wasn’t a surprise to Kevin and neither was how his first interaction with Dr. Springer went.

“I was very impressed because of how he came across and explained everything to me,” he said. “He went through the whole procedure; what to expect, what not to expect.  He’s the kind of doctor I prefer to see.”

After living with hip joint pain for more than 10 years, Kevin finally had hip replacement surgery at River’s Edge Hospital in St. Peter.  Kevin and Linda said they know several people who have had surgery at River’s Edge and with Dr. Springer and knew from them they were in good hands.

“The staff was phenomenal,” Kevin said about his care team at Rivers’ Edge.  “They went out of their way for me.”

Now, over a year following surgery, Kevin is feeling good and doing all the things he’s done before.  “After the incision healed, I basically have no pain at all.”

Kevin shared that looking back, he shouldn’t have waited so long to have joint replacement surgery and advises other that when the doctor tells you it’s time, don’t put it off, get it done.


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