In and out in a day. When talking about orthopaedic surgery, one generally does not think about having knee or hip replacement in the morning and returning home the same day, in time for dinner. But that is exactly what happened for Darlene Wilson.

Active and in her mid-fifties, Darlene had suffered from severe hip pain. As a healthcare professional herself, she hoped an injection might help, and took advantage of evening hours available at OrthoNow, Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists’ walk-in orthopaedic care clinic. What Darlene thought might be a pulled muscle turned out to be much more serious.

“I couldn’t walk, drive or sleep. It had been a year and I was miserable,” Darlene reports. When the lidocaine injection failed to control the pain, she was referred to Dr. Wilford K. Gibson, MD, FACS, FAAOS. Darlene was beyond ready to see some results.

In explaining options, Dr. Gibson informed Darlene that injections only provide temporary relief, and a second injection would probably not last as long as the first. A self-reliant, hardworking woman, Darlene was accustomed to maintaining her four-acre property, hauling 50-pound bags of chicken feed and wielding chainsaws. She was eager to do what was best for her health, mobility and lifestyle.

On September 8, 2016, Dr. Gibson performed Darlene’s anterior hip replacement procedure using the Mako™ Robotic Arm, a leading-edge technology from Stryker available at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. This procedure was the first anterior hip replacement completed in South Hampton Roads on an outpatient basis.

The Mako technology provides surgeons with tactile feedback, 3-D imaging, auditory prompts which assist in creating a perfect fit of the ball and cup, and ensures proper realignment of the joint, all while minimizing trauma to surrounding tissue and bone. This and the anterior single incision result in a faster recovery.

“Darlene’s success, and the fact that her procedure was outpatient, was directly a result of several factors. She was motivated, healthy and had the family support she needed post-operatively,” said Dr. Gibson.

Darlene’s resolve definitely proved to be a major contributor to such a positive outcome.

“I checked into the hospital at 5:30 a.m.; had my surgery 7:30 a.m.; had lunch and was in my daughter’s car headed home at 5 o’clock that afternoon,” Darlene notes proudly.

“Dr. Gibson explained everything to me. I did what he told me to do. I had never had surgery before in my life. I went into it with a really good attitude and that it was not going to take me a long time to recuperate. Now, I have full range of motion back and have no limitations.”

After just two weeks of in-home physical therapy and a week of outpatient therapy, Darlene was back to work and doing her chores on her four-acre property. Today she’s back to cutting grass, doing yard work and feeding her six chickens from the 50-pound bags of chicken feed that she’s once again strong enough to lift and load.