Orthopedic Care - Nancy's Story

Local 84-year-old Woman is Back to Zumba after Hip Surgery

Nancy Jones is an active 84-year-old, North Plainfield woman who loves to swim, walk, dance, and even take Zumba classes at her local YMCA. She had never broken a single bone, until this spring when while vacationing with friends in the Dominican Republic she missed a step, fell and broke her hip.

“I’ve never felt pain like that before,” says Nancy. “Nothing like that had ever happened to me – I’d never had anything in my body broken before.”

After falling, Nancy was treated at a local hospital in the Dominican Republic, but the pain was so intense that she had to use a wheelchair for the remainder of her trip. She decided she would pursue medical treatment once she was back in the U.S.

The moment her plane touched down in Newark, she headed to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility.

Surgery Leads to Recovery

Nancy was admitted to Newark Beth Israel and met with orthopedic surgeon John Neal, MD, who confirmed she had a displaced femoral neck fracture of the hip.

He provided Nancy with surgical options to treat her condition and determined that a partial hip replacement was the best option.

“Dr. Neal is a jewel. We reviewed all of my options together,” said Nancy. “I was in a lot of pain, but he always made me feel very comfortable.”

Dr. Neal says he believes in putting patients in the driver’s seat by explaining the surgical and healing process to them in detail because it is key to empowering his patients. “I always try to find ways to describe the injury so that they understand it. If you understand the injury and what the treatment options are, then patients are more comfortable making decisions about their health and recovery.”

Road to Recovery… Back to Zumba

The surgery was successful, and Nancy is already back to her active lifestyle.

She is now driving and walking on her own, and has returned to the YMCA, where she once again swims, practices Zumba dancing and even plays volleyball.

“She’s done incredibly well, because she is a motivated patient,” says Dr. Neal. “She was fully engaged and able to work well with her physical therapy.”

“It comes down to determination,” says Nancy. “I wasn’t going to let this injury stop me. You have to say to yourself, ‘This is what I’m going to do.’ And then do it. I haven’t stopped yet!”