When you’re a former orthopedic nurse in need of a hip replacement, you know what to look for in a surgeon. You also have high standards for the hospital and its program. Ann McCoy, now 46, of Rockville says the Joint Center at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center makes the grade.

Ann McCoy

A new hip allows Ann McCoy to stay active with her two sons, Alex (left) and Phoenix.

Currently an oncology nurse at the National Institutes of Health, McCoy was only 43 when she needed a total hip replacement. Severe pain affected McCoy at work, where she walks up to three miles per shift. It also kept her from playing with her two young sons, Alex, 9, and Phoenix, 7.

After extensive research, McCoy chose orthopedic surgeon Brett Hampton, MD, to direct her care. Rather than rush to surgery, the two first developed an approach to use conservative measures in managing McCoy’s pain.

Explains Dr. Hampton, “Ann is younger than many of the joint replacement patients we see, so it was important to balance her pain-management needs with the long-term prognosis of replacing her hip. Prosthetic joints have a life span, and we wanted Ann’s new hip to last her for a long time.”

Preparing for Surgery

As the pain grew worse, McCoy realized it was time for surgery. To prepare, she and her husband, Doug, attended the free joint replacement class at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. “Even as an orthopedic nurse,” McCoy says, “I was so impressed with the class and instructor.” McCoy says the class was helpful in setting clear expectations for her and her husband, as well as ensuring that she understood the importance of her commitment and involvement to recovery.

Her surgery was a huge success, and she was equally impressed with the well-coordinated post-operative care she received at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. McCoy started physical therapy the day of her surgery. One week later and using a walker, she made the half-mile round trip to walk her children to school. Six weeks after that, she was back to work.

Playing tag with her boys a few weeks after surgery, she says, was the “absolute pinnacle.”

Two Years Later

It’s been two years now since the hip replacement, and McCoy still enjoys playing with her children. She’s also taken up kickboxing, martial arts and step aerobics.

Through tears of gratitude, she says, “Dr. Hampton literally gave me my life back.”