Mike O’Brochta has been mountain climbing and hiking for more than 40 years, but the hobby he loved became too painful to enjoy.
“It got to a point that a two hour walk on mill mountain would take me a couple of hours to recover,” he said.
After attending a community event on joint replacement, Mike learned that hip replacement surgery might be what he needed to find relief during. Joseph Moskal M.D., chair of Carilion Clinic's Department of Orthopaedics, was the speaker.
“I appreciated the fact that he had strict requirements for me as a patient before he would even consider operating on me," Mike explained. "That appealed to my background as an engineer. You get ready for the event long before you do the event.”
Once he decided to move forward with surgery, Mike attended Carilion’s Joint Academy, a two-hour course taught by Linda Franklin, R.N., clinical coordinator for adult reconstructive surgery for Orthopaedics. She explains that the course is an important way to educate patients about what to expect leading up to surgery, on the day of surgery and during recovery.
“We feel it is just another way off empowering the patients and giving them and active role in their care and recovery," added Dr. Moskal.
Mike has been able to return to the hiking trail. This time, with his son by his side. Together, they summited Mount Kilimanjaro, which is Africa's tallest peak.
"I knew this was going to be one of those moments in our lives that I appreciated forever," he said.