Jane Seymour REC Copy

Long Distance Bicyclist Back On Track After Hip Knee Replacement

Focusing on fitness and an active lifestyle has been a lifelong goal for Jane Seymour.

“I’ve always been an athlete,” says the 66-year-old former triathlete who lives in Virginia Beach. “I grew up surfing and have always enjoyed going for long runs, but I had to give up running 20 years ago because of hip pain.”

At that time, a doctor recommended hip replacement surgery for her aching left hip, but Jane wasn’t ready and decided instead to scale back on her workouts. Instead of running or power walking, she poured her energy into cycling and swimming for exercise.

Switching gears to cycling diminished her hip pain for a while, but a few years ago, the pain from the bone-on-bone rubbing hip joint became too disruptive. Her hip bothered when she was sitting, riding her bike or walking.

First hip replacement surgery

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, occurs when cartilage wears away between bones. Cartilage cushions bones and helps them glide smoothly. When it disappears due to wear and tear, the bones no longer have that buffer, and people experience pain, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints.

Jane’s twin sister, Marion, who also endured hip pain, turned to Sentra orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joseph Gondusky for a hip replacement and recommended him to Jane.

At the same time, Jane, an office manager for a landscape company and nursery, received cortisone shots for an aching right knee. Dr. Gondusky performed a left hip replacement and right total knee replacement within four months at Sentara Leigh Hospital.

Surgeons replace the damaged ball-and-socket joint with a metal ball-and-socket. A plastic or ceramic spacer inserted between the new ball and the socket creates a smoother gliding surface.

Similarly, with a total knee replacement, also called knee arthroplasty, surgeons remove damaged bone and cartilage and replace three surfaces with metal and plastic parts:

  • End of the shinbone
  • End of the thighbone
  • Back of the kneecap

Jane spent the night in the hospital for both surgeries and followed her physical therapy routine diligently.

“With my hip, I was back on the bike in about six weeks,” Jane notes. “The knee took longer to rehab. The PT is more intense to get back your range of motion.”

Other hip replaced

With her left hip and right knee fixed, Jane’s right hip became problematic a couple of years later, aching day and night. So she scheduled a second hip replacement surgery with Dr. Gondusky at Sentara Leigh. This time it was an outpatient procedure, and Jane came home the same day with the helpful care of her husband, Wayne.

She was back riding her bike within two months. The key to a successful recovery, says Jane, is being dedicated to your physical therapy appointments and regimen and staying active.

Jane is now back in full force, having completed her fourth, 25-mile Monster Cross, a trail bike race at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, Va.

“You have to remind yourself that being in rehab won’t last forever,” explains Jane, who wishes she hadn’t waited so long to have her first hip replacement. “Just keep doing it and don’t give up. There will be a day you don’t have that pain anymore.”