OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Barry

March 01, 2017

Meet Barry – a Product Engineer by trade who enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and daughter. In addition to traveling, Barry also enjoys photography, golf, exercising, and completing home improvement projects in his free time. In 2015, Barry’s occasional hip pain became constant, and he found himself realizing just how much his hip pain was affecting his day-to-day life. After his hip pain became intolerable, he elected to have a total hip replacement by Dr. Paul Pollice of OAA’s Joint Replacement Center.
Prior to his surgery, Barry’s pain was only noticeable when he had to walk up stairs or when he got out of his vehicle. As time progressed and the pain became more noticeable, he sought out care from Dr. Pollice. When asked about how he heard about Dr. Pollice, Barry stated, “my wife is an operating room nurse and her orthopaedic colleagues recommended Dr. Pollice. Dr. Pollice also performed a total knee replacement for my brother-in-law with very good results, so I knew who I wanted for my potential hip replacement surgery.”
Barry in Hawaii with family.
At Barry’s first appointment he had x-rays taken and was examined by Dr. Pollice. Not to his surprise, Barry was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his hip and was informed that the cartilage in his hip was completely worn away to the point that his hip joint was bone on bone. To provide pain relief and to delay the possibility of surgery, Dr. Pollice administered a cortisone injection into Barry’s hip. After feeling immediate pain relief, Barry benefited from approximately five weeks of reduced pain following the cortisone injection.  
As the positive effects of the cortisone began to wear off, Barry was quick to make another appointment with Dr. Pollice. “The pain was considerably worse and I could feel my hip joint grind when I moved. Several times my hip joint locked when I tried to stand from a sitting position. The pain during those times was excruciating,” Barry shared. At Barry’s follow-up appointment with Dr. Pollice he elected to have a total hip replacement and prepared for his first major surgery since a tonsillectomy at age four. “I didn’t even think twice about the surgery with the pain I had. I endured and counted down the days until my surgical date,” Barry elaborated.
Reflecting on his interactions with Dr. Pollice before surgery, Barry remembered, “I had nothing but positive experiences with Dr. Pollice and his team. They were very methodical in collecting patient pre-history, listening to me as a patient during my office visits, providing detailed explanations, and documenting everything that we discussed. OAA’s patient portal was also a great tool for me to communicate with Dr. Pollice, review office visits, and even pay bills.”
Dr. Pollice, with the assistance of Tamar Wiener, PA-C, performed hip replacement surgery for Barry at Lehigh Valley Health Network – Tilghman; a surgical facility devoted exclusively to orthopaedics that offers patients the comfort of private rooms. When asked about his experiences at this facility, Barry shared, “I felt very well cared for from the time I checked in for the day of my surgery to the time I was discharged and escorted out of the hospital. All of the hospital staff assigned to take care of me really made me feel well cared for and did their part to get me on my feet quickly.”
Now that the surgical component was complete, Barry was on the road to recovery that included physical therapy and some effort on his end. While still in the hospital, a physical therapist helped Barry walk with assistance the day after his surgery. “I was surprised that the post-surgical pain was minor in comparison to the pain that I endured through the months prior to my surgery,” Barry added. During the two days following his surgery, Barry was visited separately by Dr. Pollice and Tamar Wiener, PA-C to check on his status, and he also had a series of physical and occupational therapy sessions before being discharged home.
“Prior to my surgery, OAA and Lehigh Valley Health Network provided me with a wealth of reading material, and I also attended a surgery information session. All of this information was important for me to understand. This allowed me to prepare myself physically, mentally, and gave me ideas for setting up my home for optimal recovery after surgery,” Barry shared. After being discharged from the hospital, Barry was visited by an in-home nurse as well as an in-home physical therapist before transitioning to outpatient physical therapy. “I was determined to do everything my doctors and physical therapists instructed so that I could return to work as soon as possible. I was cleared to return to work 26 days after surgery, and now, over twelve months after my hip replacement I am doing great,” Barry said.
Barry looks forward to his pain free lifestyle, and longs to get back to golf and more rigorous exercise now that hip pain doesn’t inhibit him. Fortunately, last May he could enjoy his daughter’s college graduation weekend without the worry of hip pain. They also took to Hawaii to celebrate her accomplishment, where he was able to travel pain free. “I want to thank OAA Orthopaedic Specialists, Dr. Paul Pollice, and Tamar Weiner, PA-C for their skill sets and surgical talents, and everyone involved in making my total hip replacement surgery a total success. Thank you for literally getting me back on my feet again!”
Do you or a loved one have a similar story? Share your story with us, and you could be next month's patient ambassador!