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Local Mechanic Receives a Hip Tune Up from LVHN

Larry Weida is grateful for the care he received that gave relief for his persistent hip and leg pain

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Larry Weida

A sputtering engine, worn brake pads and flat tires are just some of the things Larry Weida tends to during his work at a car dealership. The 63-year-old Emmaus resident has been a mechanic for years, so he’s used to fixing problems every day. But when joint pain starting interfering with his everyday life, he had to make a choice to find expert care. That’s why he turned to LVPG Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

The pain in Weida’s right hip, leg and lower back was persistent. “I was having difficulty walking. As the pain worsened, I was using a cane at work. At home it got to the point where I was using a walker to keep the weight off my joints,” he says.

Weida admitted that at lunchtime he would sit down in the car he was working on and try to rest for a half hour. He tired easily from the joint pain. “By the end of the day, I was just wiped out. There was nothing else I could do when I got home from work,” he says. The pain was affecting his daily work and even his sleep.

Diagnosing the problem

“It was a difficult diagnosis as doctors originally thought it was my lumbar spine causing the pain,” Weida says. The MRI revealed that there were serious problems with his lumbar spine that warranted back surgery. Doctors felt that treating that first would alleviate the leg and hip pain Weida was experiencing.

While the procedure, a bilateral foraminotomy and lumbar laminectomy, corrected visible issues found on the MRI and the lower back pain, it did not solve the leg and hip pain. Weida was hoping for some relief by the time of his one-month post-op appointment in January 2020 but still was not feeling better. At that point, he was referred to LVPG Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

Weida expressed his concerns to Chelsea Evans, DO, with LVPG Orthopedics and Sports Medicine–1250 Cedar Crest. Another MRI was ordered, except this time it was for Weida’s hip. He remembers Evans reviewing the images and saying that his right hip looked terrible in comparison to the other side.

During Weida’s appointment, he was diagnosed with avascular necrosis (AVN) of the hip. AVN is a disease caused by temporary or permanent loss of blood supply to a bone. This explained the increased joint pain in his hip and limited range of motion given that the bone and joint were beginning to collapse.

Hopeful that this was the culprit of the ongoing pain, Weida researched the doctors Evans recommended to do hip replacement surgery. He decided to see orthopedic surgeon Podromos Ververeli, MD, with LVPG Orthopedics and Sports Medicine–Hausman Road.

Grateful for exceptional care

At the time, there were no elective surgeries taking place at LVHN because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. That delayed Weida’s hip replacement surgery but only for a short time. He was able to schedule his procedure for May 14 at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest.

As a Jehovah’s Witness, the option for a bloodless surgery was important to Weida. The team in the Patient Blood Management Program worked collaboratively with Weida and his care team to make sure everyone was aware of his wishes to create a care plan right for him. Weida was grateful to LVHN for their support of his decision.

“I really appreciated LVHN providing the option for bloodless surgery through their Patient Blood Management Program. I also can’t say enough good things about Dr. Ververeli and his team. The nurses all had personality, compassion and empathy,” he says.

One week after Weida was home from the hospital recovering, he received a get-well card from his care team. That made his day.

Looking forward

One of the first activities he did two months post-op was mow the lawn for his father-in-law. “I was impressed. I didn’t have any pain in my hip after push mowing so that was a good sign to me.”

Since Weida already did physical therapy before and after his back surgery at Rehabilitation Services–1243 Cedar Crest that care also continued after his hip replacement surgery. “I feel like family when I go in there. Everybody knows me, we call each other by name, and I think the results have been tremendous,” he says.

It’s been over a year since both of Weida’s surgeries. He is happy to be back living his normal active lifestyle, this time with a pain-free hip. When he’s not fixing Volvos at the car dealership, he’s out cutting and splitting wood or taking his motorcycle for a spin.

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