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Missouri Dance Teacher Kicks up her Heels once again after Hip Replacement

Carmen Mueller, a Barnhardt, MO dance instructor has been dancing all her life without difficulty. That is, until she fell and broke her hip several years ago. Unaware that she had damaged her hip so badly, she continued to work in the studio that she owns, not only teaching dance, but also yoga, gymnastics, karate, and tumbling. She is also a massage therapist, which requires long periods of standing.

Eventually, the pain became so intense that she could no longer dance. It hurt to even put pressure on her leg. She visited several doctors, none of whom could diagnose precisely what caused her pain. She slowly began to wrap her mind around the fact that her life as a dancer may have ended.

That was before she heard of Dr. Joseph Williams of the Bone and Joint Institute in St. Louis. After visiting with him, Mueller felt hope that perhaps someday she may dance again.

"When I fell, I was very scared that my career was over. After visiting so many other doctors, I felt discouraged and overwhelmed by my situation. But Dr. Williams was different. I felt comfortable with him because he was confident in his abilities and he believed in what he was doing. He gave me all my options and was very patient with my many questions. The bottom line was that he knew I did not want to take drugs for the rest of my life and he wanted to help me get back to the career I loved," Mueller explained.

It turns out that over time, her broken hip developed Avascular Necrosis, a disorder where the blood supply to the bone is compromised, causing weakness and potential bone collapse. Because Mueller had gone so long without any treatment or diagnosis, her hip was truly in bad shape. It quickly became apparent that a total hip replacement was her best option. So in November of 2006, Carmen Mueller put her future in the hands of Dr. Williams.

Using a special designed metal on metal implant, Dr. Williams was able to remove the damaged part of the hip and replace it with a large femoral head, which gave Mueller a greater range of motion. It also drastically lowered the risk of dislocation, which permitted her less worry in her vocation as a dance instructor. In addition, the metal on metal articulation has less wear than traditional hip replacements providing a greater chance that it will last the patients lifetime.

Dr. Joseph Williams is a well-known and respected surgeon in the field of Orthopedics. He is among a select number of doctors trained in the United States to perform some of the most cutting edge in minimally invasive joint replacement surgeries. For Mueller, the most comforting and reassuring qualities in Dr. Williams were his attention to detail and his genuine care, not only for her pain, but for her desire to return to her previous way of life.

"Dr. Williams just made me feel very comfortable. He took the time necessary to ease my concerns and answer my questions. I was very happy with him," she said.

Dr. Williams is a graduate of Saint Louis University School of Medicine and he completed his internship and his general surgery residency at the Saint Louis University Group of Hospitals. He served his residency in orthopedic surgery at the Phoenix Combined Orthopedic Program in Phoenix, Arizona.

A fellow with the American Academy of Orthopedics, Dr. Williams is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He is a member of numerous prestigious medical organizations, among them the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, International Arthroscopy Association, and the Missouri State Orthopedic Society. He is also a past board member of the Arthritis Foundation, Eastern Missouri Chapter.

What makes Dr. Williams so successful is his vast experience and knowledge in the area of minimally invasive replacements of the knee, hip, shoulder and spine. Combine that with his systematic method of patient education, physical conditioning and nutritional support for minimally invasive joint replacement patients. This program focuses on educating patients to set realistic expectations for surgery before, during and after the procedure. A nutritional plan and a physical conditioning plan to achieve optimal health before surgery may also be incorporated. Postoperative therapy includes additional patient education and comprehensive, appropriate exercise.

Carmen Mueller could not be happier with the results of her hip replacement. Within a few months post operation, she was able to walk and stand without pain. Though she is still trying to get back into dance shape, she has been able to return to instructing, something that seemed impossible before.

"The results of this surgery have far exceeded my expectations," she said. "I am completely satisfied with where I am, though I still feel like I have a little recovering to do to get back to what I was before. But I am thrilled to be teaching again, and enjoying the lifestyle I love."

Mueller's biggest satisfaction comes from the fact that Dr. Williams accepted and agreed with her desire to not live the rest of her life on medication and with pain. "I am so happy that he wanted to fix my problem, not medicate it," she stated.

Only an orthopedic surgeon can determine if surgery is right for an individual and the experience of each patient may vary. Surgery involves potential risks and requires recovery time. The life of any joint replacement depends on patient weight, age, activity level and other factors. Information pertaining to the Bone and Joint Institute is available by telephoning 314-966-6480 and at www.bonejointinstitue.com.