OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Frank

February 25, 2015

Osteoarthritis affects millions of people worldwide. Some patients experience osteoarthritis from childhood conditions such as dyslasia and Perthes Disease or just aging, which leads to wear and tear arthritis. Frank Zelko, 68, of Bethlehem knows how debilitating the pain can be.

Zelko is an active individual and enjoys working as a realtor. “I love fishing, golfing, bicycling, walking and just being outdoors,” he adds. However, when the bone on bone pain started to reduce or eliminate these activities Zelko knew it was time to seek help.
Photo of Frank
For more than two years he tried steroid shots to help reduce the pain and pursued alternative medicine like acupuncture with little or no result. The pain was not only affecting his activity, but it was starting to take a toll on his usually positive attitude. Zelko knew it was time to consider surgery.

A friend of Zelko’s recommended he come to OAA Orthopaedic Specialists. “I extensively researched the types of surgery for weeks, and from information available, I felt that the new anterior approach to the hip replacement was my choice,” mentioned Zelko. After doing the research he went to the website and noticed that Dr. Kevin K. Anbari was associated with the surgery he had in mind.

Dr. Anbari has been practicing orthopaedic medicine for almost 10 years. He went into the joint replacement specialty, “To see people get better and regain their normal function and return to activities quickly,” explained Anbari.

The heavily anticipated appointment day with Dr. Anbari had arrived. “He was very thorough in explaining the operation, and took all the time needed to answer my questions,” shared Zelko. Having been impressed with Dr. Anbari he scheduled his right hip replacement after the consultation.

For some people, surgery can bring up concerns, but Zelko found the pre-operation meeting comforting. His anxiety was further reduced the day of surgery when Dr. Anbari discussed the procedure just before entering the operating room.

Surgery was successful with no complications. Zelko was released from the hospital the next afternoon with complete instructions on home care and pain management as well as physical therapy schedules. “He did very well with hip replacement. It is actually very common for people to report that they are surprised by how quickly they recover and some definitely say they wish they had it done sooner,” adds Dr. Anbari.

Zelko knew the importance of therapy to get his life back. Within three weeks he gained his strength back and went from a walker to a cane. The day of his four week follow-up appointment he walked with no aid. Five weeks out he was back to riding his bike and enjoying all this favorite outdoor activities. “My major accomplishment was a 32 mile bike ride on The Allegheny Passageway Trail in early September, just five months after the surgery,” he said proudly.

Feeling better Zelko has even added new programs like yoga to his exercise routine. Zelko wanted to spread the word about the professionalism of OAA’s physicians and their entire staff and will recommend OAA to friends and family. “In fact, I already have!” Zelko responded.

It’s important to select a doctor that fits your needs and goals, much as Mr. Zelko did his research. “Offering people the best options available,” Anbari adds, “so that they can have their surgeries right here in the Lehigh Valley and not have to go elsewhere.”

-Elizabeth Kern