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Hip replacement gives patient 'her life back'

Posted on May. 8, 2015 ( comments)
Joint Replacement Hiker Image

Lesley Baczuk has always been active: She loves to ride her recumbent bike, walk around her Puyallup neighborhood and hike. But two years ago, her hip and back pain was so bad that she couldn’t even stroll through the grocery store without stopping to lean on something.

“I would make sure I knew where a bench was so I could rest,” she says. “The pain was the to the point where it was just too much for me to deal with.”

However after bilateral hip replacements, which replaces both hips, Lesley Baczuk, 63, is back to doing what she loves. And she credits MultiCare’s Joint Replacement program and MultiCare orthopedic surgeon Robert Tamurian, MD, for helping her get her life back.

A minimally invasive approach

Baczuk had tried everything from yoga and massage to physical therapy and chiropractic work to alleviate her back pain. But nothing worked, and she was concerned she’d be hurting for the rest of her life. Then her sister suggested she visit an orthopedic surgeon.

She was diagnosed with severe hip arthritis, which was also causing Baczuk’s worsening back pain.

“It’s a very common problem for women and men in their 60s and 70s,” says Dr. Tamurian. In fact, Dr. Tamurian performs hundreds of joint replacements every year.

Dr. Tamurian recommended that Lesley have both of her hips replaced in surgeries scheduled about 10 weeks apart. Dr. Tamurian uses advanced surgical techniques that are minimally invasive and offer a quick recovery for patients.

With traditional hip replacements, patients often stay in the hospital for three or four days and are still using a walker to move around six weeks later. Dr. Tamurian’s approach, which causes minimal tissue disruption, has most patients walking independently just two weeks after their surgery.

A pain-free life

Mrs. Baczuk had her hips replaced in December 2013 and February 2014 at MultiCare’s Allenmore Hospital. A former high school and college counselor, she appreciated Dr. Tamurian’s ability to easily explain complex concepts and listen to her concerns. “He truly cares about what he does and he is a perfectionist at it,” she says.

Lesley sailed through surgeries and dedicated herself to recovery. She left the hospital with her physical therapy appointment scheduled and recovery mapped out for her.  She did her prescribed exercises and walked every day after her operation. Now she can easily ride for two hours or more on her bike.
And just as significantly: She’s pain-free.

“I cried because I was so happy to have my life back,” she says. “I don’t like being sedentary and these surgeries felt like an absolute miracle.”

Dr. Tamurian loves to hear about the progress of his patients. He notes that after they experience what’s possible, they usually wish they would have had the surgery sooner. “They often say that they didn’t realize the positive impact it would have on them,” he says. “It’s really a great procedure and a testament to minimally invasive approaches to hip surgery.”

Meet Dr. Tamurian in person and learn about MultiCare's Joint Replacement program at one of our free seminars, held each month at one of our joint replacement surgery center locations at Allenmore and Good Samaritan hospitals. Visit our calendar of events to choose a seminar date and location that works for you and register online to attend.

Dr. Tamurian sees patients at the MultiCare Orthopedics & Sports Medicine offices in Tacoma at Allenmore Hospital and in Gig Harbor at the MultiCare Gig Harbor Medical Park. Read his online bio to learn more.

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