Mercy's Dr. Kamala Littleton Discusses Misconceptions About Joint Replacement
Joint replacement has come a long way as technology and surgical techniques have improved, yet there are still misconceptions.
Cheryl Travers has no problem showing off her scars. She had her left knee replaced in 2013. Before that replacement she was in constant pain.
"If I kept going the way I was, I probably couldn't keep working. I couldn't go from point A to point B. I couldn't be driving. It was really ruining my life," Travers said.
Travers said her knee replacement changed that, and she could finally walk without pain. Six months later, Travers had her left hip replaced.
"She's a bit of a bionic woman. She has had both knees and both hips replaced," said Kamala H. Littleton, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy Medical Center.
Dr. Littleton performed the procedures on Travers' right hip and her left knee.
"There are a lot of people who have come in, maybe they've talked to the doctor or their friends, and so they have a real preconception of what a joint replacement's about," Dr. Littleton said.
Travers may seem young to have had four joint replacements.
"I try to treat the patients like I would be, and so we really have embraced doing joint replacement quicker when you've got the limitations and the pain," Dr. Littleton said.
Dr. Littleton said she often hears people say they're too young or too old for the procedure.
"There is nothing too young, and as far as being older, if you're a very, very healthy active person in their 80s, there's just no reason why you wouldn't have a joint replacement," she said.
Travers is one of those patients who was up and walking soon after surgery, and she now is easing back into things that she was able to do before. She said the scars are worth it, and her family agrees.
"They want their mom up and walking and doing the best they can, and having the lifestyle that we have, so they're used to that, and that's what we want to continue," Travers said.
View Mercy orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kamala Littleton’s interview about joint replacement.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.