Lauren Sampson

Lauren SampsonLauren had been an avid walker and worked out at the gym about four times a week. But several years ago, she developed pain in her thigh after walking just five minutes. An X-ray showed the cause was actually her hip: arthritis had worn away the cushioning cartilage, so her joint was “bone on bone.”

The 68-year-old Freehold resident tried physical therapy, but the pain still returned when she walked. That’s when Lauren knew it was time to get the hip replacement she’d been putting off.

After interviewing several orthopaedic surgeons, she chose Monmouth Medical Center’s Mark Gesell, M.D.

Lauren felt comfortable with the surgeon and his staff. “They are beyond professional – and I’m very critical about that, because that’s what I teach,” says Lauren, an adjunct professor in business and professional communication at Kean University and a faculty tutor in the writing services department at Monmouth University.

Dr. Gesell explained everything in detail and connected Lauren with a liaison she could call with any questions. She went ahead with a Mako™ hip replacement, in which the surgeon uses robotic technology to increases the procedure’s precision.

“Lauren’s hip arthritis had progressed to the point that the pain and stiffness was affecting her quality of life and surgical treatment was needed,” said Dr. Gesell. “A MAKO hip procedure allowed a very precise positioning of the components in her hip replacement. This procedure allows better reproduction of her leg lengths and optimizes the function of the implant, which will contribute to less complications and less wear on the implant.”

Lauren returned home just two days after surgery. Then she went to outpatient physical therapy three times a week for about four months.

“Every single person I dealt with at Monmouth Medical Center was unbelievable,” she said. “They were prompt, efficient, kind and compassionate.”

About six months after her hip replacement, Lauren walked two miles on the boardwalk and felt fine. “I’m getting my confidence back,” she says. “Last year I couldn’t do this. I was miserable... I even missed out on a trip to Italy. I couldn’t even do day trips!”

Now, Lauren is exercising again at the gym and at home. “My physical therapist couldn’t believe what I was capable of doing post-surgery.”

Giving back

In addition to crediting great surgeons and medical teams, both Bryan and Lauren point to Monmouth Medical Center’s joint replacement patient education sessions as an important component of their success.

“It helps you to know what to expect and how best to prepare for the surgery – before, during and after,” says Lauren.

“I was terrified,” she admits. But once she spoke with Dr. Gesell and took the class, she felt reassured.

In fact, during her hospital stay, Lauren offered to help out with future sessions. Today, she makes “rounds” as a volunteer – giving patients a survey and a T-shirt, talking to them and seeing if they have questions or if they need anything. “People seem really responsive; I love doing this!” she says.

For more information on the Joint Replacement Program at Monmouth Medical Center, call 732-923-7666 or visit barnabashealth.org/mmcjoint. To learn about volunteer opportunities at Monmouth Medical Center, call 732-923-6670.