Sharon Johnson, 79, experienced a traumatic hip injury in August of 2019. Sharon resides at a senior living home. On the day of her injury, she was walking in the community room of her senior living home when she slipped on melted ice that was in front of the refrigerator. When she fell down, she landed directly on her left hip causing it to shatter.
“A couple of guys came up to me asking if I could get up and I said ‘Give me a minute to catch my bearings.’ It was a shock. I could not move my left leg,” remembers Sharon. “They grabbed a wheelchair for me and asked if I wanted them to call 911. My leg was stiff so I didn’t know what was wrong. I had them take me back to my room.”
Sharon decided to lay down after her fall. She went to bed with the hopes that she would feel better in the morning. When she awoke at 9 a.m. the next morning, she knew that her left leg would not be able to tolerate her weight, so she called 911 and told them what happened the night before.
She was first taken to Northwest Community Hospital, where after running x-rays and cat scans, staff informed her that she would need to be moved to a different hospital for her trauma wound. Sharon was then transferred to Lutheran General Hospital. Around midnight, a doctor came in and told her that she had a very serious injury to her hip.
“A doctor at Lutheran came in and told me that they needed to stabilize my leg. He told me that I had a very serious injury and because of my age, the procedure could cause a stroke or heart attack and that they may need to use [defibrillation] paddles to revive me,” said Sharon. “He said that even after surgery I may have a limp or one leg shorter than the other. I felt overwhelming sadness from hearing that.
Sharon called her son for support and informed him of what the doctor told her. “My son said, ‘Mom what are your options, you can’t walk, you have to have it done if you want to walk.’”
Being able to walk was important to Sharon as she has an active life. “I’m an avid walker. I walk because I love music. I walk to the music. I have a lot of energy as I have to keep up with my kids, grandkids, and great grandkids,” said Sharon.
Sharon then met with IBJI’s Dr. Charles Lieder. He had a positive outlook on the procedure unlike the other doctor. Dr. Lieder explained to Sharon that she had completely shattered her hip and broken her pelvis from the fall. She informed him that she was diagnosed with Osteopenia a year earlier but was not on medication for it.
“My experience with Dr. Lieder was calming. He took me through my x-rays and how to read them. He has a great attitude and a reassuring smile. That man could walk on water. He’s not cocky in his answers, he is kind, simple, and nice. He’s informative in a gentle way.”
Dr. Lieder performed an open reduction internal fixation of her left acetabulum and an acute total hip replacement. He used a hip stem to reconstruct the joint.
“I had no pain from the staples. My hip was so shattered that he could have used a vacuum to get all the shattered particles. I’m six months into the healing process and I am amazed at myself and my walking. If you get a good surgeon and doctor, you’ll be fine. I can’t say enough about Dr. Lieder.”
Sharon wants to encourage others her age not to be scared of surgery. “At my age, I told Dr. Lieder that I can walk from here to my car, back and forth, I have a little issue with stairs but as long as there is a railing I’m fine. I can walk with no limp. I don’t want other seniors to fear surgery because of their age. I would tell others to take advantage of the opportunities that are offered to us and not be afraid. My healing was amazing, you can’t do it alone.”
Overall, Sharon says that she had a great experience with Dr. Lieder and IBJI. “I have so many great things to say about IBJI and Dr. Lieder. He’s a tribute to his profession. I told him that he speaks so well and I wish that he could speak to children that don’t know what they want to do and inform them about the medical profession. Not many people can achieve his ability of kindness, and do what he does. I want to give credit to the profession, IBJI is just an unbelievable group of people. After surgery, I was home around Halloween, I wanted to send Dr. Lieder and his staff a big tin of popcorn. People asked me why I would do that and I said just as a thank you. I didn’t know how else to thank him. He is an amazing, talented, and gifted man.”
Charles Lieder, DO, is an orthopedic surgeon, fellowship trained in trauma, specializing in complex orthopedic fracture care and adult joint reconstruction.