Marguerite Morsey has 16 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and one more on the way. Her growing family is one of the ways she stays active and in-touch, after raising her seven children and retiring to enjoy her leisure time with bus trips, reading, knitting and crocheting, and using her new computer to view the kids on Skype.
But last year, Marguerite had to turn her energy inward – her patience tested during three surgeries and nine months of recovery to mend her hip with the help of the advanced orthopedic specialists at Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital. An injured foot on a trip to Panama in 2008 eventually spread an infection to her hip, leading the 84-year-old Roxbury resident to the office of New Milford orthopedic surgeon John Mullen, M.D.
After removing Marguerite's 15-year-old hip replacement and implanting a temporary hip, Dr. Mullen treated her with antibiotics to pave the way for a new hip replacement in the near future. "We had to clear the infection before we could proceed with another surgery, which required Marguerite to minimize weight-bearing activities by using a walker or wheelchair for more than a month," Dr. Mullen said.
The affiliation between New Milford Hospital and Danbury Hospital provided an added benefit, bringing Dr. Mullen together with Robert Deveney, M.D., a Danbury orthopedic surgeon also specializing in advanced hip techniques. During a second surgery at Danbury Hospital, they determined that Marguerite's infection had not cleared, and it was too early to complete a permanent hip replacement. They cleaned the surgical site and implanted another temporary hip – this one loaded with antibiotics, while also treating her with intravenous antibiotics – an innovation that provides mobility for the patient in between surgeries.
The combination offered a more aggressive, high-dose antibiotic therapy over a six-week period that was effective in clearing the infection. In August 2011, Marguerite got her permanent hip and has since completed inpatient and home rehabilitation to return to a normal lifestyle.
Dr. Deveney said, "Most patients don't have to endure two surgeries to clear such an infection. The joint reconstruction process was challenging for Marguerite, but she tolerated it remarkably well. She was very determined, and I think her other interests were an inspiration in her recovery."
Marguerite agreed, saying, "I had great care at both hospitals and my extended care facility. Everyone was so helpful and I was stubborn about not giving up. I worked very hard every day in my therapy, and it has paid off. I've learned to walk again. I have a big family, and I've got plans."
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