Olympia Orthopaedic Associates All-Star Program

Mark Helpenstell lives a very active life managing a farm, hiking, running, training dogs, and managing, organizing, and playing on a couple of different soccer teams, on Whidbey Island where he lives.
Despite his active life, Mark had been dealing with back pain due to several spinal issues for which he was receiving injections. During an appointment with Dr. Zachary Abbott, a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, Dr. Abbott suggested that Mark’s pain may not be entirely related to his spine and much of it may be the result of hip arthritis. This was confirmed via X-Ray and Mark was referred to see Dr. Brodie Wood, a Joint Replacement Surgeon at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates. Dr. Wood recommended an Outpatient Total Hip Replacement to alleviate Mark’s pain and increase his function
“I went into the procedure with the primary goal being to return to playing soccer as soon as possible,” Mark said. “I was astounded that just a couple of hours post-op, I was up and walking again. First with a walker, then with crutches and a couple of hours after that they sent me home!”
Mark felt great after surgery. So great in fact that, “one week after surgery I went out just to kick one ball and get it on video – so that I had proof!” recalls Mark.
Although he could kick a single ball, Mark also knew that the healing process takes time. “The biggest challenge was just waiting and being patient. I felt like I could have played but giving the hip time to fully heal, and the bone and titanium time to completely reconnect was important. No matter how good it felt, I knew that I couldn’t rush that,” he said.
Now that Mark is recovered and back on the pitch, he offers some words of motivation for all of those who are considering a Total Hip Replacement. “Don’t put it off. If you’re doctors recommend it, get on with it – and keep moving. You’ll be glad you did!”.

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