News Center

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hip replacement at St. Francis Health-Mooresville helps put patient back on hiking trails

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – The pain in his right hip interrupted his sleep, interfered with his work and prevented him from enjoying walks through Indianapolis’ scenic Eagle Creek Park with his wife, Kim.

After more than 18 months of this severe arthritis pain, John Xenos was willing to buckle down for a tough recovery following total hip replacement surgery. If it meant having a stable, pain-free joint, after all, it was worth it, he thought.

But surprising himself and those involved in his care — from the nurses and physical therapists who guided him through his post-surgical recovery to his orthopedic surgeon — John sped through recovery with little need for attention.

The recovery was supposed to include 30 days of walking with the support of a walker, 30 days with the support of crutches and 30 days with the support of a cane, along with four weeks of in-home physical therapy and six weeks off of work.

The reality? He spent less than a week on the walker, less than a week on crutches and never needed a cane. His in-home care team released him after just two and a half weeks, with simply a reminder that his body needed to continue to heal from the inside out, and he wasn’t to take any unnecessary risks. He was back to work in just two weeks, before he was even able to drive on his own.

Now, nine months after surgery, he is walking without a limp, has regained flexibility in his hip and is standing fully upright for the first time since the pain began to set in three to four years ago. He is exercising regularly, is confident in his ability to safely and painlessly do yard work at his hilly weekend property in Nashville, Ind., and is able to help some of his employees at Monarch Beverage Company with physically demanding work when necessary.

So why the speedy, successful recovery?  Xenois cites two factors: First, he followed every pre-surgery preparation and post-surgery precaution suggested by his surgeon, Jeff Pierson, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville. Second, Pierson’s skill in the operating room is second to none.

“I can’t tell you how much I’m impressed with him as a doctor,” Xenos said. “It was just exceptional work. Dr. Pierson really gave me great confidence — the way he conducts business, the way he communicates with conviction. He is just very matter-of-fact. I really enjoyed and appreciated his straight-forward and clearly defined explanations of what the process would truly entail.”

John and Kim researched the surgery and potential surgeons well before selecting the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery and scheduling his operation. Six weeks before surgery, John started eating more healthfully and exercising more regularly. In the months leading up to the procedure, he talked with Pierson about what to do before surgery, what he would go through during surgery and what to expect after surgery.

As a result of being well informed and prepared before his operation, Xenos went into surgery with a focus on the positive – a future with a stable and pain-free joint.

“When you experience pain over a long period of time, it changes even your personality,” he said. “You’re just not yourself. The confidence I have in my new hip has allowed me to be myself again. I just enjoy things the way I used to. It’s like going back 20 years and feeling the way you felt then. You have more energy. Your attitude about everything improves, and I’m sure you are a much better person to be around when you don’t have pain.”

The Center has been ranked No. 1 in Indiana for joint surgery five years in a row by HealthGrades, one of the nation’s premier health care rating companies. To learn more about its services and community outreach programs, visit